The Cincinnati Reds let a 4-1 lead turn into a 7-4 defeat to the Milwaukee Brewers on Tuesday. That makes Wednesday’s game between the teams even more critical, with the Brewers listed as -185 road favorites. Meanwhile, Cincinnati’s moneyline is set at +155, with the over/under for the game set at 7.5 runs.
Milwaukee’s win on Tuesday extended the team’s lead in the NL Central to 8.5 games. With the win, the Brew Crew has now won 11 of its last 14 games. They are showing no signs of slowing down and look like legitimate contenders in the National League.
Meanwhile, the Reds are hoping to stay within striking distance of the Brewers while also pushing for a Wild Card spot. Despite Tuesday’s loss, the Reds have won eight of their last 12 games, which has allowed them to overtake the Padres for the second Wild Card spot. However, San Diego remains just one game back, so the Reds can’t afford to start dropping games.
Second Half Success
Luis Castillo will start on Wednesday, hoping to continue a stellar second half. Over 26 starts this season, Castillo is just 7-12 with a 4.35, although those numbers are a little misleading. Castillo pitched to a 1.71 ERA in June and a 2.15 ERA in July, completing turning his season around.
In his last four starts against the Brewers, Castillo has allowed just four runs over 24 innings of work. But that doesn’t mean the Milwaukee lineup will be easy to face on Wednesday. The Brew Crew has averaged 5.7 runs per game over the team’s last six games, with the likes of Avisail Garcia, Kolten Wong, and Christian Yelich, all red-hot over that span, combining for seven home runs in those six games.
Bringing the Wood
The Brewers have one of their three Cy Young candidates starting on Wednesday, with Brandon Woodruff scheduled to take the mound. In his 24 starts this year, Woodruff is just 7-7 but has pitched to a 2.48 ERA and a WHIP of 0.94. However, Woodruff has now gone seven straight starts without a win and gave up six runs over five innings against the Cardinals in his last start, so perhaps he’s vulnerable.
The Cincinnati lineup has more than enough firepower to take advantage of a vulnerable pitcher. Even with Jesse Winker heading to the IL, the Reds are averaging five runs per game over their last five games. Joey Votto’s second-half power explosion doesn’t appear to be stopping while Nick Castellanos and Tyler Naquin remain red-hot, making the heart of the Cincinnati lineup difficult for any pitcher to traverse.
Bet on Red
While the Brewers are rightly favored with Woodruff on the mound, his recent struggles help to give Cincinnati a ton of value at +155. Keep in mind that Castillo is also capable of pitching a gem and giving the Cincinnati lineup plenty of opportunities to score runs and take the lead. In short, the Reds are more than good enough to bet on considering the upside and potential payout.
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