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Reds vs. Brewers Pick MLB – April 22nd

The Marlins may have edged even closer last night in their flirtation with firing manager Mike Redmond. Personally, I thought all the Marlins in the Playoffs talk was a tad premature to begin with, considering they have exactly one proven bat in the lineup and the last time he was on the field in 2014 his face was shattered with a pitched ball. But all the over-inflated expectations aside, to fire a baseball manager 14 games into the season?? It seems absurd, but after last night’s loss to the lowly Phillies dropped them to 3-11, suffice it to say the seat is getting warmer and warmer every day.

Fortunately, we don’t have to worry about the quick hook in baseball wagering. It’s been a rough last week and last night’s Giants win over the favored Dodgers didn’t help. It’s a long season and plenty of time to get back on track, but early losing streaks are never any fun. Let’s see if we can start a trend anew by riding one of the most pervasive trends of the early baseball season.

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Today’s Free Pick:

Cincinnati Reds -129 at Milwaukee Brewers +120 (Total: 7)

Johnny Cueto (0-2, 2.14 ERA) vs. Jimmy Nelson (1-1, 1.50 ERA)

You know things aren’t going well when a team comes into your ball park, losers of six of seven and kicks your butt two straight nights. You know things aren’t going well when you score ten runs in a game… and a team still kicks you butt. You know things aren’t going well when you allow 22 runs in two games and a team still… yeah, the “wins two” part is assumed at this point.

Anyhow, ladies and gentlemen, your 2015 Milwaukee Brewers! To say it is bad in Milwaukee right now is an understatement. The Brew Crew is 2-12, thanks in a large part to the starting pitchers allowing a 6.12 ERA with a stunning .303 batting average against. They are basically making the entire league look like Barry Bonds in his roided out prime. Their bullpen is marginally better at 3.89 ERA, though in fairness it is a larger sample size (low blow!) Jokes aside, this Brew team is setting some impressive marks for early season futility, but at least their lone bright spot on the mound gets the ball tonight. Nelson is 1-1 with a 1.50 ERA and 0.75 WHIP in his two starts, so perhaps the Brewers have a chance…

Except for the fact they are facing Johnny Cueto tonight. Yes, Cueto is a tough-luck 0-2, but he enters with a 2.16 ERA and a WHIP of just 0.80, so he deserves far better – and I think he’ll get it tonight. Joey Votto appears all the way back to his 2010 MVP form, and he already has six homeruns, good for the NL lead, this season. If the Reds can get three or four runs – and recent performance in Miller Park indicates it is likely, then the Reds and Cueto should win.

Plus, from a purely mathematical standpoint, if I can get on of the best pitchers in baseball facing one of the worst teams in baseball and play less than -130 for it, then I’ve got a pretty good value. I’m planning on capitalizing tonight.

Free Pick: Cincinnati Reds to WIN -129