Cincinnati Reds vs. Atlanta Braves MLB Pick, Odds, Prediction 8/21/14
Atlanta Braves (66-61) at Cincinnati Reds (61-66)
MLB Baseball: Thursday, August 21, 2014 at 7:10 pm (Great American Ball Park)
Julio Teheran (R) (11-9) (3.057) vs. David Holmberg (L) (0-0) (16.854)
The Line: Cincinnati Reds +139 / Atlanta Braves -149 --- Over/Under: 8 See the Latest Odds
TV: SPSO, FSOH
The Cincinnati Reds look to cool down the Atlanta Braves and break out of their own funk in the opener of a four game series at Great American Ballpark.
The Atlanta Braves appeared to be in position for a second straight series sweep, but instead their five game winning streak came to a halt last night in Pittsburgh. Atlanta led 2-0 after seven innings, but the Braves couldn’t hang on to the lead as Alex Wood was charged with allowing the two tying runs and David Carpenter took the loss in the bottom of the ninth. The offense managed just two runs on five hits in the loss as Justin Upton and Chris Johnson each delivered RBI singles. Despite losing last night, Atlanta is well-positioned in the NL Wild Card race and appears to be turning a corner after a slump to start the second half of the season.
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Julio Teheran will make the start for Atlanta in Thursday’s series opener after picking up a win against the A’s in his last start to snap a three game losing streak. Teheran has been generally solid over the course of the year as he enters this matchup with a WHIP of 1.09, ERA of 3.06 and record of 11-9 across 26 starts in 2014. The 23 year old righty Teheran has struggled on the road with a 4.27 ERA over 13 starts, compiling a record of 6-7 in receiving a decision in each start. In Teheran’s lone start against the Reds this year, he was razor sharp in pitching a shutout over eight innings while allowing just three hits on April 27th in Atlanta.
The Cincinnati Reds have realistically let their season slip away as weeks of treading water while weathering injuries has finally caught up to the team as they enter this matchup as losers of five straight. In last night’s game in St. Louis, Johnny Cueto had a rare off night allowing five runs on seven hits while walking four over just five innings of work to put the visitors in a hole they could never dig out of. The Reds stagnant offense that ranks in the bottom ten in all of baseball in runs scored, batting average, on base percentage and slugging was once again ineffective in the losing effort, but they did put together a small rally in the ninth inning scoring three runs to avoid being shutout and generate a little bit of positive momentum.
Making matters worse for Cincinnati is the fact that David Holmberg takes the mound for just his third career start on Thursday night. The 23 year old lefty Holmberg made one start for the Diamondbacks last season and has made one start for the Reds in 2014, exhibiting the same deficiencies each time being hit hard and throwing far too many pitches in abbreviated outings. Holmberg lasted just 2.2 innings against the Cubs on July 8th allowing five runs on seven hits including three HR’s.
The Braves are far from reliable on the road over the long haul with a losing record away from home and offense that shuts down without notice, but they look like the easy play here in a game where the line isn’t high enough to reflect the true probability of a victory for the visitor.