Reds vs. Brewers Pick MLB – Sept 25th

*** Late edit addition *** Just saw the news that Jose Fernandez was killed in a boating accident.  Incredibly sad news and a terrible tragedy.  I’m really bummed out, and send best wishes and condolences to his family.  Really sad news for all baseball fans and the MLB family.  Wow…

And with no good segue for that, here is today’s melancholy baseball pick….
We notched a winner last night with the Giants 9-6 victory over the Padres, but we certainly go to the winner’s circle in circuitous fashion.  I called it a night with the Giants leading 6-0 and feeling like we had some pretty easy money in the bank.  Things got REALLLLY wild, the Padres scored bit by bit, inning after inning, and eventually tied the game up to force extra innings.  San Fran notched three runs in the eleventh to seal the runline victory.

It wasn’t a normal game, but we will take the win nonetheless and try to cap off the week with a repeat winner.  It’s NFL Sunday, so much of the baseball will get ignored, but there are a few games on the schedule I really like from a favorable line standpoint.  Yes, like most of you, I’ll be watching my fantasy lineups most of the afternoon, but will definitely have an eye on some MLB scores.

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Today’s Free Pick:

Cincinnati Reds +118 at Milwaukee Brewers -125 (Total: 8.5)

Brandon Finnegan (9-11, 4.10 ERA) vs. Wily Peralta (7-10,5.21 ERA)

This game has little significance to the season at this point, but hey, that’s why it’s nice to have a little action on a game now and then, right?  It may not matter in the standings, but there is a nice chance to profit, and I like the underdog line in play here today in Milwaukee.  Brandon Finnegan has been excellent at times, but mostly mediocre in his first full season as a starting pitcher.  However, he is still just 24 years old and with a ton on potential that shows through in glimpses, especially over the last two months.  He left his last start in the third inning with some discomfort, but appears to be just fine for action today.  In his last nine non-injury shortened starts he has allowed zero runs four times and three or less eight of nine times.  He has been solid all Fall long and I like him to pitch well today.

Wily Peralta’s season has been wild one as well.  He was demoted to AAA this summer after posting a 6.89 ERA.  However, since he has been back up, he has been solid with a 3.21 ERA in eight starts.  He has also been decent in his career against the Reds with an ERA in the high threes.  It makes for a relatively even pitching matchup, but I like the momentum of the Reds bats.  The season might be meaningless, but Joey Votto is piling up a second half of the season for the ages.  He homered again yesterday to pull his season numbers to .320/26/89 after entering the Break hitting under .240.  His OBP is .434 with a .969 OPS – those two numbers are first and third in the NL respectively – amazing considering half the season was miserable.

The biggest difference for me today is the recent performance of Finnegan.  He has been excellent in nearly every outing in the last month and a half, which makes plus-money pretty enticing.  The games with the Cards, Mets and Giants – who are all tied in the loss column with seven games to play, are more interesting.  But the Reds at plus-money are my favorite value play on the board today.

Free Pick:  Cincinnati Reds to WIN +118

Chris Scheeren / Author