Reds vs. Brewers prediction: Cincinnati the pick

The Cincinnati Reds have vaulted into second place in the NL Central and will get a shot against the division-leading Brewers in a four-game series beginning Thursday in Milwaukee.

Tyler Mahle has been significantly better on the road than in Cincinnati. He’s 5-1 with a 2.01 ERA, a .188 opponents batting average and three home runs allowed in 53 ²/₃ innings as a visitor. At home, he’s 2-2 with a 6.06 ERA and has allowed nine homers in 35 ²/₃ innings.

The Brewers have won Adrian Houser’s past five starts. However, he has allowed at least four runs in two of those, is issuing 3.7 walks per nine innings for the season, and in 38 ²/₃ innings at home has allowed six home runs.

The Reds entered Wednesday having allowed four runs or fewer in 10 of their previous 13 games, and though the Brewers entered their doubleheader on Wednesday against the New York Mets having plated at least five runs in eight of their previous 11 games, they recently placed leadoff hitter Kolten Wong on the 10-day injured list.

The Brewers rank last in the NL in batting average. Reds hitters have the NL’s lowest strikeouts rate on the road, while the Brewers have the highest strikeout rate in the NL at home. It adds up to a continuation of Houser’s career struggles against the Reds (he is 5.97 ERA with 10 home runs allowed in 31²/₃ innings).

The play: Reds, +101.

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