The Cincinnati Reds had some kind of weekend. In what proved to be their best effort of the year, the Reds cleaned the Cubs out with a three-game sweep. Chasing the Cubs on Saturday and Sunday didn’t lead to much success for sports bettors. I liked the Cubs on Saturday, but they were playing like they didn’t want to be there, so bypassed them on Sunday which was a good idea. After the sweep, the Reds head to Atlanta where they play a surging Braves team. The Reds would like to emulate the 2018 Braves. The Braves, like the Reds, have had some bad years recently. The last time the Reds made the postseason was back in 2013, losing to the Dodgers in the NLDS. Atlanta’s last appearance in the postseason came in 2013 as well. Since then each club has had losing seasons.
The Braves look like they’re on pace to snap that, though. They enter with a record of 44-32 and are 1st in the NL East. With the Phillies losing last night, they maintain a 2-game lead in the division. The Nationals were able to edge a bit closer, though. Cincinnati doesn’t look like they’re going to be able to get a winning season out of 2018, but they have been playing their best baseball of the year recently. They just swept the Cubs and have won seven games in a row. That’s way different than what their overall record this season indicates. The Reds enter Atlanta with a record of 32-45 so there’s still a lot of work left. Head below for our free Reds vs. Braves pick in the National League on Monday.
Cincinnati Reds vs. Atlanta Braves Pick
Tyler Mahle (6-6, 3.89 ERA) vs. Mike Foltynewicz (5-4, 2.16 ERA)
It feels like almost ever since Joey Votto came out criticizing the rest of the team, they’ve responded nicely for him. He’s been the most underrated player in baseball over the years, but doesn’t get much of a stage in Cincinnati. Tyler Mahle has been playing well in his sophomore year for the Reds. He has posted an ERA of 3.89 in 81 innings.
In his last three outings he’s been solid as ever, with an ERA of 2.08 and 1.27 WHIP. His team has won five straight games in which Mahle has pitched. However, he hasn’t been perfect. Mahle has 3.54 ERA on the road, but that includes an OBA of .358, which would say he’s putting too many runners on the bases. That usually has a way of catching up with a pitcher by the end of the season.
Foltynewicz has been even hotter for the Braves. He enters Monday with an ERA of 2.16. He hasn’t allowed more than 2 runs since eight starts ago, and the time he allowed 2 runs, that only happened once. In his last three outings, Folty has posted a 0.95 ERA and 0.68 WHIP. Cincinnati have been hot, but he has a stellar history against their hitters.
Foltynewicz has held the Reds to hitting .174 in 46 at-bats, with only 1 deep ball and 1 hit for extra bases. I think the Reds are going to hit somewhat of a pullback after sweeping the Cubs. They could get too comfortable heading into Atlanta after such a successful weekend, and then endure a letdown on Monday night. With the way Foltynewicz is pitching, he should be the guy to cool the Reds down. Give credit to the Reds for not playing dead and giving up, but I think the streak comes to an end against the Braves.