The Milwaukee Brewers are clinging on in the NL Central with a 1-game lead over the Chicago Cubs. I don’t know if they should be happy about that, because they only have a record of 46-41. Everyone else sucks so badly that it has allowed them to be in the lead with an average record. That wouldn’t get the Brewers anywhere near the top in the NL West or NL East. They are fortunate to be playing in the NL Central.
By the end of the season, five games above .500 likely isn’t going to cut it. While they’re up now, it’s only July 4th and a lot can change. With how the standings are at the moment, they could potentially finish last in the division. That’s a highly unlikely event and don’t see it happening, but with the Reds only 4.5 games behind, the Brewers aren’t too far from dead last despite sitting in 1st going into Thursday.
So, Milwaukee certainly can’t take this lead for granted or it will evaporate. The Brewers nor the Cubs are playing quality baseball recently. The Cubs are in danger of getting swept by the Pittsburgh Pirates, while the Brewers could lose three of four against the Reds in Cincinnati.
That’s not a good look for the top teams in the NL Central. From my viewpoint, though, it’s great for parity and I’m a fan of seeing this rather than what’s happening in the NL West. There is no suspense over there, as the Dodgers have already locked things in.
That’s how it happens sometimes, but my goodness, it’s July 4th and we’re talking about teams who are a lock already. At least we’re going to get some entertainment out of the NL Central in the second-half, albeit, the worst division in baseball as it stands now. Head below for our free Brewers vs. Reds pick.
Milwaukee Brewers vs. Cincinnati Reds Pick:
Betting odds provided by bovada.lv
The Reds needed an ace to develop to have a shot in 2019. They were confident that Luis Castillo could be the guy and that he could have a breakout season. Castillo has been that guy for the Reds, as the breakout season has come this year. In only his second full season at the major league level, Castillo owns an ERA of 2.47 and 1.15 WHIP. Last season he finished with a 4.30 ERA in 31 starts, so it’s a nice jump for him.
Castillo is coming off a standout outing against the Cubs, as he gave up just 3 hits and 1-run in 7 innings. However, he got zero help and the Reds fell 6-0. Usually the bullpen is reliable, but they didn’t help out, and the offense was a dumpster fire that day. Their inconsistent offense at the plate is why they are last in the NL Central.
Develop more consistency in the second-half and they’ll be in business. The bullpen has been solid for the Reds, as they’re 4th as a unit in the majors with a 3.78 ERA in 288.1 innings. Home has been especially sweet to Castillo, where he’s posted an ERA of 1.92 and 0.96 WHIP in 56.1 innings.
He’s faced the Brewers three times this season. Twice on the road and once at home. Predictably, Castillo was much better at home than on the road. In fact, he was mowing the Brewers down for just a hit and 1-run in 7 innings. Again, though, he fell to a lack of run support and they still managed to lose the game somehow by a score of 1-0.
He will look to pitch better than Brewers’ Brandon Woodruff, who is coming off a nice showing of his own against the Pirates. He allowed 6 hits and 1-run in 7.2 innings, though that was at home where he’s more comfortable. Woodruff owns an ERA of 4.29 on the road as opposed to a 3.45 at home. The Reds have been pretty good against Woodruff, with a .302 batting average and 8 runs in 43 at-bats. Catching the Reds at plus-money in this spot looks like a tough one to pass up on Thursday.