Atlanta Braves vs. Cincinnati Reds MLB Wild Card Picks, Odds, and Predictions 9/30/20
Photo by Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports
Cincinnati Reds (31-29) at Atlanta Braves (35-25)
MLB Baseball: Wednesday, September 30, 2020 at 12:08 pm (Truist Park)
Trevor Bauer (5-4) (1.73) vs. Max Fried (7-0) (2.25)
The Line: Atlanta Braves -130 / Cincinnati Reds +120 --- Over/Under: 7.5 Click Here for the Latest Odds
The Cincinnati Reds and the Atlanta Braves meet in game one of their best-of-three NL Wild Card series in MLB action from Truist Park on Wednesday.
The Cincinnati Reds will hope to make the most out of their first playoff appearance since 2013 after finishing the abbreviated season with a record of 31-29. The Reds sat as low as six games below .500 on multiple occasions, as late as September 12th where Cincinnati sat at 20-26. The Reds would rattle off 11 wins in 14 games down the stretch to finish above .500 and book their spot to the postseason in the last couple days of the regular season. Eugenio Suarez led the Reds in production, driving in 15 homers and 38 RBIs while Nick Castellanos appeared in all 60 games for the Reds, the lone player to do so for Cincinnati, also leading the Reds with 49 hits. Trevor Bauer had a couple of bad outings in the regular season, but despite all of it, Bauer still emerged with a 5-4 record with a 1.73 ERA and 100 strikeouts this season, good enough to get the start in game one. In his career, Bauer is 1-0 with a 3.86 ERA and 22 strikeouts against Atlanta.
The Atlanta Braves will look to make the most of their third straight trip to the postseason after winning their 3rd straight NL East division crown with a record of 35-25. It seemed to be a steady climb for the Braves who were stuck at 11-10 early on in the season, but Atlanta would just string small winning streaks together with a loss here and there, eventually settling on the 35 wins at the end of the regular season. Freddie Freeman was one of three Braves to start all 60 games, batting a team-high .341 with a .462 OBP while Marcell Ozuna had a .338 batting average with 18 home runs, 56 RBIs and a team-high 77 hits as well. Dansby Swanson also started 60 games for Atlanta, posting a .274 batting average. Max Fried took on the role of staff ace once Mike Soroka went down with a season-ending injury, and Fried stepped up in the biggest way possible, going 7-0 with a 2.25 ERA and 50 strikeouts, putting his best foot forward and getting the start for Atlanta in game one. This will be Fried’s second career start against Cincinnati.
Cincinnati is 11-3 in their last 14 games overall and 7-3 in their last 10 games following a win while the over is 3-0-2 in their last 5 games as an underdog. Atlanta is 8-0 in their last 8 games against a team with a winning record and 36-17 in their last 53 home games while the over is 17-7-1 in their last 25 playoff games.
This should be one heck of a series, whether it only goes two games or three, but as far as game one goes, it almost seems to obvious, but I’m going to side with the under here. Sure, these are two solid batting lineups, but Bauer had an ERA under two in two of the three months this season and the one outlier was an ERA just over two in August. I’m worried about Max Fried and the health of his ankle after tweaking it against Miami last week, but I’m hearing he’s good to go after throwing a bullpen session on Sunday. If Fried’s on and Bauer continues to deal, we may only see three or four runs max in this game. I’ll side with the under.