Rob Senior previews the Cincinnati Reds vs. Milwaukee Brewers on Tuesday, July 25. He provides his expert prediction as well as best bets.
Moneyline: Cincinnati Reds (+125) vs. Milwaukee Brewers (-145)
Date & Time: Tuesday, July 25, 8:10 P.M. Eastern
Runline: Reds +1.5 (-155)/Brewers -1.5 (+130)
Total: Over 8 (-110)/Under 8 (-110)
Where: American Family Field, Milwaukee, WI
Weather: 77 degrees, 20% chance of rain
Reds vs. Brewers: Preview and Picks
We’re sticking with this NL Central showdown for first place between the Reds and Brewers. Two teams who’ve emerged from a mediocre division this season.
Milwaukee had Cincinnati’s number in a three-game sweep right after the All-Star break. Are the Reds about to even the score?
Cincinnati Reds Preview
We’ve discussed the exciting – yet somewhat inconsistent – Cincinnati offense, led by youngster Elly De La Cruz, Spencer Steer, Christian Encarnacion-Strand, and steady Joey Votto.
But the story of Tuesday’s game may be starting pitcher Andrew Abbott, who’s impressed since his June 5th debut with a 5-2 record and 2.10 ERA.
Abbott is striking out more than a batter an inning, earning a reputation as the upstart Reds’ most reliable starter.
So what’s the issue? Well, he’s thrown 109 innings this year, just two shy of his career high. And that leaves Cincinnati in a tough spot – do they keep pushing the 24-year-old through the pennant race? Or do they skip his turn here and there and preserve him for the stretch run and possible postseason?
Add to that, Abbott’s two losses have both come in the past three weeks against the Milwaukee Brewers, including a four inning, six-run stinker on July 7.
Milwaukee Brewers Preview
Corbin Burnes takes the hill at a record of 9-5 with a 3.49 ERA for the home team, and like his counterpart in Abbott, Tuesday’s opponents are quite familiar with the 2021 Cy Young Award-winning Burnes.
The difference? The Reds seem a little mesmerized by the Brewers’ ace. One Reds player was quoted after Burnes’ first outing as saying the righty possessed “the best stuff we’ve seen this year.”
Sure enough, Burnes went a total of 12 innings in two starts against Cincy, earning two wins and striking out a whopping 19 hitters. He followed it up by shutting out the powerful NL champion Phillies for eight innings last Thursday.
Cincinnati Reds vs. Milwaukee Brewers Prediction
The pitchers’ ERAs and respective lineup profiles make the under tempting, but that feels a little risky with both lineups seeing these pitchers twice in recent weeks.
Instead, I’m going to side with Burnes, one of the National League’s hottest pitchers this month. His July ERA is 1.33, he’s won four consecutive starts and done so by averaging 12 strikeouts per nine innings pitched.
I like Milwaukee’s bullpen a little better than Cincinnati’s for the late innings. Also, I’m somewhat cautious about how Cincinnati plans to handle Andrew Abbott in the coming weeks. Should the brewers jump out to an early lead, the Reds may choose to preserve the rookie for additional big games down the road.
Prediction: Milwaukee Brewers (-145) over Cincinnati Reds