The Atlanta Braves couldn’t close out the Cincinnati Reds last night, as newcomer Shane Greene got off to a pretty bad start in Atlanta. Greene made his debut with the Braves on Saturday night and immediately blew a save opportunity. He was able to prevent the Reds from taking the lead, but they had to go to the bottom of the 9th in what was a 4-3 lead going into the final frame.
There should be a disclaimer that came with Greene when he got traded to the Tigers. He never had to face any pressure whatsoever in Detroit. Being a good closer is all about being comfortable under pressure. In his first chance in a Braves uniform, Greene got a failing grade, but we’ll see where he goes from here.
The contest ultimately went to extra innings in a game that should have been done and over with in the 9th. Both bullpens failed, as the Braves took a 4-3 lead before Greene gave it right back. The Braves have a comfortable lead in the NL East, but a lot can change in a hurry in Major League Baseball. I don’t know if the Nationals or Phillies have enough in them to make a run at the Braves, though. They look like wildcard teams at the moment, not teams who are threats to win the division.
Ronald Acuna Jr. made sure that the game wasn’t going to make it past 10 innings. He knocked in the game-winner with 2 outs and a runner on 3rd base. Clutch hit for Acuna Jr. who gives the Braves a 2-1 series edge heading into the finale. The Reds will turn to Sonny Gray to attempt to salvage the series with a sweep this weekend. Atlanta are expected to send out Julio Teheran, who has developed into a potent threat for the Braves in 2019. Head below for our free Reds vs. Braves pick.
Cincinnati Reds vs. Atlanta Braves Pick:
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Julio Teheran has spent all eight of his major league seasons in Atlanta and he’s been a pretty good option for the Braves over the years. While he isn’t going to be breaking his career-high ERA of 2.89 from 2014, Teheran has been on pace for another terrific season. Teheran enters Sunday with an ERA of 3.38 and 1.28 WHIP. He’s been mowing the competition done most recently, posting a 1.47 ERA and 1.04 WHIP in his last three outings.
Note that Teheran hasn’t allowed more than 2 runs in a start since June 24th, which was seven outings ago. He’s been thriving at home, with a 2.26 ERA in 55.2 innings of play. We should see a decent performance out of Teheran on Sunday. Decent enough to give the Braves’ offense a solid shot at winning another game here. They will have to deal with Sonny Gray, who has reverted back to his Oakland days with the Reds in Cincinnati.
He hit a big pothole in the Bronx with the Yankees, but is back on track in 2019. Gray goes into Sunday with an ERA of 3.45 and 0.87 WHIP on the year. His effort on the road has been strong, posting a 3.16 ERA and 1.14 WHIP, but has suffered from a lack of run support and owns just a record of 1-4 as a visitor.
Gray has surrendered 2 or less runs in five of his previous six outings. Three of those games were excellent showings against quality offenses on the road. He neutralized the Rockies, Cubs, and Brewers in their ballpark. The 1-run surrendered against the Rockies at Coors Field was especially impressive.
Last night was the first game in five meetings that the gave went OVER the total and it barely got there with a total of 8.5. There’s been an average of 7.75 runs scored per game between the Reds and Brewers in their last five clashes. With a total of 9 and Gray and Teheran on the bump to start, this looks like an UNDER game in Atlanta on Sunday afternoon.