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Reds vs. Brewers Series Preview: Cincinnati's Effort To Contend In NL Central
The NL Central will be on full display this week as the Cincinnati Reds (32-31) and Milwaukee Brewers (38-27) will match up in a battle of postseason hopefuls. The Brewers will host this three-game series at American Family Field starting on Monday.
These two teams squared off last week in Cincinnati, with the Brewers taking two of three in that series. The Reds are hoping to repay the favor as they travel to Milwaukee this week.
Cincinnati had a really nice weekend as they swept the Colorado Rockies in a three-game series. They outslugged the Rockies 27-10 over the three games, including a 6-2 win on Sunday. In the win, Eugenio Suarez hit his 14th home run of the season.
Milwaukee also had a nice weekend as they swept the Pittsburgh Pirates at home. On Sunday, they beat the Pirates 5-2. In the win, Avisail Garcia hit his 13th home run while Adrian Houser went 5.2 innings and allowed just two earned runs.
The Schedule for the three-game series at the Great American Ballpark is as follows:
- Monday, June 14 – 8:10 pm ET
- Tuesday, June 15 – 8:10 pm ET
- Wednesday, June 16 – 2:10 pm ET
Here is the pitching matchup for each game of the series:
- Monday: Vladimir Gutierrez (2-1, 2.65 ERA) vs. Eric Lauer (1-2, 4.82 ERA)
- Tuesday: Luis Castillo (2-9, 6.47 ERA) vs. Brett Anderson (2-4, 4.99 ERA)
- Wednesday: Tyler Mahle (6-2, 3.56 ERA) vs. Freddy Peralta (6-1, 2.25 ERA)
Looking At Odds
In a tight NL Central, the Brewers are the favorites to win the division at +100. The Reds are +1200 to win the division, the fourth-best of the five teams.
In terms of winning the World Series, the Milwaukee Brewers are +2200 to do so while the Cincinnati Reds are +7000.
By The Numbers
Offensively, Cincinnati is one of the best scoring teams in baseball. They rank fourth overall averaging 5.05 runs per game. The Brewers fall to 22nd, averaging just 4.06 runs per game.
On the defensive side, it is the Milwaukee Brewers with a huge advantage. They rank ninth in the majors allowing opponents just 3.95 runs per game. The Cincinnati Reds rank 29th, allowing 5.27 runs per game.
Reds Look To Stay Above .500 As They Take On Division Leader
Sunday was a bit of a milestone for the Reds as they try to claw their way back into the division race. With the win over Colorado, they moved back over .500. That is the first time they have been able to say that since April.
While their pitching has been shaky this season, their offense has been anything but. In fact, the offense has featured outstanding starts from Jesse Winker, Nick Castellanos, and Eugenio Suarez.
For Winker, he is hitting .344/.418/.638 with 17 home runs, 40 runs batted in, and 48 runs scored. Not to be outdone, Castellanos is hitting .361/.416/.635 with 13 home runs, 36 runs batted in, and 44 runs scored.
While the slash line of Eugenio Suarez (.171/.249/.385) is not pretty, he has definitely contributed in the power department as he has 14 home runs, 33 runs batted in, and 34 runs scored.
Brewers Trying To Stay Red Hot
The Cincinnati Reds have been one of the hottest teams in baseball over the last ten games at 8-2. Unfortunately for them, the Brewers have been even hotter at 9-1. Playing at home, where they are 20-15, Milwaukee will try to stay red hot.
Leading the way offensively for Milwaukee is Asivail Garcia. This season, he is hitting .241/.310/.463 with a team-leading 13 home runs, 38 runs batted in, and 30 runs scored.
The Brewers certainly lack in the power department as the next highest home run total is seven (Luis Urias).
One player to keep an eye on in this matchup is first baseman Dan Vogelbach. He has been one of the hottest Brewers’ hitters over the last week, hitting .286/.444/.714 with a couple of home runs and four runs batted in.
Great Opportunity For Cincinnati To Cut Into Division Lead
While the Reds are chasing both Milwaukee and the Chicago Cubs in the division standings, this series is an excellent opportunity to start making up some ground in the division.
While Milwaukee is solid all the way around, the Reds catch a bit of a break in the pitching matchups. They will miss both Brandon Woodruff and Corbin Burnes in this series. While Freddy Peralta has been fantastic early on, this is still a break that the Reds should try to pounce on.
Granted, the Reds have their own pitching concerns that they have to overcome, but if they can ride the momentum from the Rockies sweep into Monday, they could cut into the five-game deficit they currently have in the division.
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