Reds at Brewers – Free Pick August 7th

Cincinnati Reds -106 at Milwaukee Brewers  -104 (Total: 8.5)

Johnny Cueto (14-5, 2.52 ERA) vs. Michael Fiers (5-4, 1.88 ERA)

There haven’t been many better wagers in all of sports than the Cincinnati Reds since the All-Star Break.  Even after last night’s 6-3 loss, they are still 16-5 since the break, and done nearly all of it without the services of MVP candidate Joey Votto.  Tonight, they look to rebound and get back to their winning ways with their ace Johnny Cueto on the mound against the promising rookie, Michael Fiers.

Speaking of hot streaks, we are certainly on one here at  Six straight days of correct picks and eight straight winning wagers overall, we are again honing in on a tight money line to find both a winning wager and a good value wager as well.

Here’s the first question to look at when analyzing today’s pitching matchup.  If Michael Fiers has been so good (and his 1.88 ERA and 1.08 WHIP say he undoubtedly has) then HOW is he just 5-4 and his team a LOSING 5-6 in games he has started?  For starters, they are awful once you get beyond… well, their starters.  Being young, the Brew Crew is reluctant to push their promising young hurler’s pitch count much beyond 100.  That means he generally gives the Brewers six great innings then hands to the ball to one of the worst bullpen in the National League.  Their relief corps has a whopping 4.91 ERA and a league-leading 20 blown saves.  Compare that to the Reds ERA of 2.51 and only 12 blown saves, and you can quickly see why there is a large discrepancy in the standings.

I think this will be a well-pitched game, but I don’t trust the Brewer bullpen to hold down the fort once Fiers departs.  Cueto has held his opponents under three runs in 10 of his last 12 starts (yes, I know the only two were the two most recent, but suffice it to say he won’t be sad to leave Coors Field and homer-happy Cincinnati for the road of Milwaukee tonight).  If Cueto can do his usual; depart after seven with only one or two on the board, I think that will be enough to get his ballclub (and possibly even himself) the win.

The Reds are 7-3 against the Brewers this season, and 2-0 in games Cueto started.  Perhaps tellingly, both of his previous starts this season have been very well pitched games, the Reds coming out on top 2-1 in each of them.  I expect another well-pitched game tonight, and like the Reds to snap their brief “losing streak” of two games tonight.

Free Pick:  Cincinnati Reds to WIN -106


Chris Scheeren / Author