Brewers vs. Reds MLB Pick – September 23, 2020

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I don’t enjoy losing and it’s been a tough last week or so as a result. That tine frame has cost us a season’s worth of profits so far, and last night’s 1-2 night officially pushed us into negative territory for the season.

My lone winner on the night came between the Braves and Marlins where I had the Braves -1.5 on the run line. It was 2-0 Braves lead for a little while, but Freddie Freeman and Marcell Ozuna took over and combined for three homers as the Braves went on to stomp their division rivals by a 11-1 count.

It was downhill from there, but we were actually in an early hole. I had the Phillies -1.5 on the run line over the Nationals in game one of their Tuesday twin-bill. Two Phillies errors didn’t help Aaron Nola’s cause as the Nats chipped away at the all-world right-hander while Austin Voth hurled the best game he’s pitched in the big leagues and the Nats came out with an easy 5-1 win.

It was up to the Rays to get us a profitable night as -128 moneyline favorites against the Mets. The Mets managed to get to the Rays’ bullpen while the Tampa Bay offense remainder quiet in an eventual 5-2 Mets victory.

In sum, the 1-2 night cost us 1.18 units as we look to get things turned around in a big way on tonight’s jam-packed 15-game schedule!

Season Record: 23-21-1

Units: -0.26

Now let’s check in with this free MLB pick featuring the Brewers vs. Reds in a pivotal NL Central tilt from Cincinnati!

Brewers vs. Reds Betting Odds

  • Brewers (+151)
  • Reds (-164)
  • Brewers +1.5 (-140)
  • Reds -1.5 (+120)
  • Over 8.5 (-115)
  • Under 8.5 (-105)

Brewers vs. Reds MLB Pick Breakdown

Starting Pitching

Brewers

The Brewers will send right-hander Adrian Houser to the mound for this one as the right-hander makes his 11th start of the season.

Houser has been touched up for a 5.33 ERA through 10 starts and 50.2 innings on the season, but he’s also posted a 4.60 FIP, 4.12 xFIP and 4.48 SIERA that tell us he should enjoy some improved fortunate moving forward.

Houser has been victimized by an elevated .331 BABIP on the season while his 60.6% strand rate on the season is well below his 71.4% career mark to this point. It’s also probably important to keep in mind that Houser owns a career 4.10 ERA/4.10 FIP/3.95 xFIP in 177.2 innings of work, so he’s probably a better pitcher than what we’ve seen this season.

It’s been a tough go of late. Houser has allowed at least four earned runs in four of his last six outings, but has also pitched four innings of two-run ball in each of his last two times out. Over his last six starts, he’s pitched to a 7.02 ERA and has surrendered eight walks over his last 12.2 innings.

He had made one start against the Reds this season and was touched up for four earned runs in Milwaukee back on August 27. The 27-year-old hasn’t had much luck with the Reds, posting a 5.50 ERA in 18 career innings against them and owns a 5.00 ERA in two starts and nine innings in his career at Great American Ball Park.

Reds

The NL Cy Young race is a crowded one as to be expected in a truncated 60-game regular season, and you know that Trevor Bauer is right in the middle of that conversation.

The charismatic right-hander owns a tidy 1.80 ERA on the season, although his 3.15 FIP/3.30 xFIP, while fantastic numbers, do point towards some regression moving forward. The reason for that would be a .211 BABIP against that is well under his .294 career mark and a 92.2% strand rate that sits far above his 73.8% career mark.

Still, his 12.18 K/9 and 2.22 BB/9 have helped him avoid trouble for the most part with his only blemish coming by way of his 1.25 HR/9 on the season. Otherwise, he’s among the league leaders in most major pitching categories.

He’s also on quite a run. Over his last four starts spanning 27 innings, Bauer has posted a 1.33 ERA to go along with a big-time 11.33 K/9 clip. He’s done so while facing a weak Pirates offense twice, but also a couple of quality offenses against the White Sox and Cubs.

In just two career starts against the Brewers, Bauer has posted a 3.65 ERA across 12.1 innings pitched while he’s worked to a 3.88 ERA in his career across 11 starts at Great American Ball Park, but also a 2.32 ERA at home this season.

Offense

Brewers

It’s been a fall from grace from a once-thunderous Brewers offense as losing the likes of Mike Moustakas – now with the Reds – and Eric Thames has taken it’s toll while center fielder and leadoff hitter Lorenzo Cain opted out of the 2020 season.

Entering this one, the Brewers rank 25th with a .302 wOBA on the season against right-handed pitching while struggling mightily with strikeouts in the form of a 29th-ranked 27.1% K-rate against righties.

It’s a group that’s been improved of late, scoring 6.4 runs per game over their last eight, although that’s included their 18-run shellacking of the Cardinals last Tuesday.

They’ve managed just six runs across the first two games of this series so far.

Reds

The Reds offense has been on the disappointing side of the equation this season, especially since their main offseason focus was to beef up on offense and avoid wasting quality pitching as they did in 2019.

The results haven’t been anything special as they are tied for 15th with a .318 wOBA on the season against right-handed pitching, but they also have flexed some muscle against righties this season in the form of a sixth-ranked .196 ISO off of them.

All that said, they’ve been the victims of some brutal batted-ball luck. Despite ranking 12th with a 33.9% hard hit rate versus righties as a team this season, the Reds sit dead last with a .247 BABIP off them as well. They also sport a 11th-ranked 22.2% line-drive rate, but have yet to be rewarded as too many of those hard-hit line drives have found defenders’ gloves.

The offense was quieted in a 3-2 loss last night, but also scored at least six runs in three of their previous four games, all coming at home where they rank 12th with a .332 wOBA on the season.

Bullpen

Brewers

As I’ve noted throughout the season when including the Brewers in my picks, their bullpen is most definitely the bread-and-butter of this team.

Despite a bullpen ERA that sits 11th at 4.11, the Brewers also sit eighth with a 3.93 FIP and first with both a 3.69 xFIP and monster 12.10 K/9 clip.

If you’re looking for back-end strikeouts, look no further than this Brewers bullpen. Setup man and potential NL Rookie of the Year Devin Williams has racked up an enormous 18.72 K/9 on the season while a frisbee changeup has generated plenty of swings and misses. The team also has closer Josh Hader racking up punchouts at a 14.82 K/9 clip while Freddy Peralta owns a 15.16 K/9 alongside David Phelps’ 13.85 mark. All of those names sport ERAs of 2.77 or under, save for Hader and his 4.24 mark while Williams sits with a cool 0.36 ERA on the season.

That said, Williams worked two inning last night and Hader closed out the win, so it’s no sure thing both would be available tonight.

Reds

The Reds received disastrous results from their bullpen earlier in the season as the group was costing them wins in a season where blown leads hurt even more. They’ve been a little better of late, but overall still haven’t been as reliable as needed.

The Reds enter this one sporting a 24th-ranked bullpen ERA of 4.75 while their 4.92 FIP checks in at 26th. Their 4.46 xFIP moves all the way up to 12th and they took have racked up strikeouts at a healthy rate of 10.82 K/9 on the season despite home run issues in the form of a 1.68 HR/9.

If we look at the last month, the Reds actually sit just outside the top 10 at 11th with a 3.93 ERA from their ‘pen, a number slightly superior to the Brewers’ 4.02 mark in that time. However, the Reds also owns a 4.88 FIP and 1.61 HR/9 in that time, so we’re still not dealing with anything special here.

Brewers vs. Reds MLB Pick

One thing to note here with Bauer is that he’s pitching on short rest in this one tonight, three days rest to be exact. It’s a tiny sample of two career starts on three days rest, but he owns a 6.00 ERA in nine innings in this situation. Not sure we should put a ton of stock into those numbers, but it’s worth noting.

To me, this Reds lineup is just far-and-away superior to that of the Brewers while I still believe in Bauer as one of the best pitchers in baseball getting the ball in a game where he knows his team needs him the most.

The Reds and Brewers are tied with the Giants for the final Wild Card spot in the National League, but more importantly both sit with .500 records at this juncture of the season.

Bauer is one of the fiercest competitors in the game and not only do I believe he delivers for his team in this one, I believe his offense backs him in a big way as it’s a dangerous Reds lineup up and down and one that’s just been unlucky while unleashing plenty of power in the process.

Give me the Reds to take the rubber match tonight, but give me them at valuable run line odds as well.

The Bet
REDS -1.5
+120
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Brenton Kemp / Author

Brenton is a lifelong sports fan who resides in Ontario, Canada. Brenton is a fan of most all sports but specializes in hockey, baseball, football, basketball, and golf. He’s a fierce researcher with a strong appetite to deliver accurate and relevant facts that in turn have led to past success with picks and DFS advice across the board. Brenton’s biggest goal is to deliver readers with the picks and advice that can build their bankroll. He takes great pride in his success and loves nothing more than to share that success for the benefit of everyone involved.