Milwaukee Brewers vs Cincinnati Reds: Preview and Best Bet – 5/22/2021

By: Austin Moehn (@austin_moehn22

(Odds via Bovada)

Moneyline: CIN: (-140) | MIL: (+120)

Spread: CIN: -1.5 (+145) | MIL: +1.5 (-165)

Total: 8.5 Over: (-120) | Under: (EVEN)

First Pitch: 3:10pm CST | Great American Ball Park | Cincinnati, OH

Cincinnati took game one last night, and they are looking to seal the series win this afternoon. The bats were out last night as the Reds were able to tally nine runs thanks to a monster performance by Jesse Winker and a 3-run shot by Tyler Naquin. The Brewers scored a few runs, but they failed to bring base runners home as they stranded seven on base. Milwaukee is feeling the pressure, and they are searching for a jumpstart to turn their cold streak around. The Brewers will send out veteran Brett Anderson (2-3 4.50 ERA) while the Reds counter with Sonny Gray (0-3 ERA 3.86). 

Cincinnati Reds (20-23)

Cincy got a nice bounce-back win last night due to a three-homer night from Jesse Winker, along with a solid pitching performance from Jeff Hoffman. This was the type of game the Reds needed after their previous series, and with how the offense looked in game one, there is reason to believe that we see another high-scoring output from the lineup. Looking deeper into game one of the series, Winker and Naquin, the primary sources of offense for Cincinnati last night, were able to take advantage of right-handed pitching, which won’t be the case for this game as Milwaukee has their lefty starter on the bump for this one. This means that Winker and Naquin might be neutralized, but it also means that guys like Nick Castellanos and Eugenio Suarez could have big days as both are notorious for killing left-handed pitching. With how the lineup hit last night, I think that the Reds will get a handful of runs, putting pressure on the Brewers offense to score off Sonny Gray.

Castellanos has crushed lefties this season

The Red’s 31- year old starter has had an interesting season to this point. Gray has been the Reds’ most consistent starter this season, but he doesn’t have the stats to support it as he is still winless in six starts this season. Now looking at tonight’s matchup, Sonny Gray has had problems facing the current Brewers roster allowing a 1.088 OPS and an OBP of .422. The thing here is that the entire Milwaukee lineup has been struggling recently, so this will be an exciting matchup to see which trend follows through.  

Milwaukee Brewers (21-23)

After another loss, Brewer Nation is starting to get worried as Milwaukee has dropped six of their last nine games. The offense still hasn’t lived up to their potential, and now the pitching staff is starting to fall off as Adrian Houser turned out another bad outing, and the bullpen wasn’t able to keep the game within striking range. After the trade for Willy Adames and Trevor Richards, Milwaukee’s bullpen is very thin, and this is bad timing as the starters haven’t been as dominant as they were the first month and a half. Now being two games below .500, Milwaukee has to be anxious to get out of this funk, and hopefully, this happens by the offense finding its rhythm. They have an excellent top-of-the-order with career high average guys like Kolten Wong and Lorenzo Cain to hit ahead of their power bats, so there is no doubt that Milwaukee’s offense sees a resurgence, but the question is when will this happen? 

Brett Anderson is a long-time vet and has been in the big leagues since 2009. Unfortunately, he’s at the back end of his career, and his stuff isn’t what it used to be. The 33-year old has dealt with an injury and hasn’t had a good start since mid-April, which was before his injury. Nevertheless, Anderson has some success against the current Reds lineup except Castellanos and Suarez, who have taken him deep three times in a small sample size. For Milwaukee to win here, they will need Anderson to pitch well as they currently don’t have a trustworthy arm in the bullpen except for Josh Hader.

Can Anderson help the Brew Crew turn it around?

Best Bet & Prediction

My best bet for this one is the over 8.5 runs (-120). The combination of struggling pitching on both sides to go with being in Great American Ball Park, a hitter friendly stadium, I think this will be high scoring like last night. The combination of Sonny Gray’s struggles facing the Brewers lineup and Brett Anderson not being able to pitch quality starts could mean that both teams get going early. I think that this will be the case in this afternoon’s game. Nick Castellanos has an OPS of 1.011 against lefties this season, and even with Eugenio Suarez struggling this season, I think he will have a good day at the plate. As I mentioned yesterday, it’s hard to pick who outright wins for this series just because of both teams’ inconsistencies, but with this type of pitching matchup to go with two of the worst bullpens in baseball right now, no doubt runs will be scored. All of these reasons are why I like this to be a high-scoring game, and I’m taking the over.

Austin’s MLB 2021 picks 10-6 (+$290 on $100 bets) 
-Austin Moehn @austin_moehn22

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