Featured Video from Scott Reichel
The Cincinnati Reds will host the Atlanta Braves here in the second game of their series. The Reds have been very streaky this year, alternating great stretches with terrible ones, while the Braves have also been inconsistent. The Reds will start Tanner Roark here, with Mike Soroka taking the mound for the Braves. Oddsmakers opened this game as practically even, so it should be a tight one.
Braves’ pitching struggling
Not unlike the Reds, the Braves have been up and down this year. They entered this series at 11-10 overall, and having lost four of their last six. They got up early in the first game of this series Tuesday, but then completely collapsed and quickly blew the lead.
The bullpen melted down, and it wasn’t the start to the set they were looking for. Atlanta’s offense has been producing recently, but the pitching staff has been erratic. For what it’s worth, the Braves are just 3-7 in their last ten games played during game two of a series. To try and turn things around here, Atlanta will need a strong outing from Mike Soroka. This will be just Soroka’s second start of the year, and the seventh start of his career. His first start of the season was at home, so this will be his first time pitching on the road in 2019. Even including the minors Soroka has pitched just 14 and 1/3 innings this year.
Soroka is still only 21, so the Braves won’t want him going too deep into this game. That’s a problem for Atlanta, considering how their bullpen has looked recently. Soroka is still so young that I don’t see how he won’t struggle here. He’ll be making his first start of the year, facing a Reds lineup that is finally starting to wake up. He’ll also be pitching at a hitter’s park that can be extremely difficult to navigate if you aren’t used to it. The last time Soroka made a road start, in June of last year, he gave up eight hits and four runs in just 4 and 2/3 innings. I don’t see this going very well for him.
The Reds, like they did in 2018, started the year off in disastrous fashion. After winning their opener, they proceeded to lose their next eight games. They’ve been extremely streaky on the year, as they then won four straight, then lost four straight, then won three more.
They’ve been hard to predict, and the offense has been underachieving all season. Their offense has a lot of talent on it, so it’s been surprising. The pitching staff, on the other hand, has been a pleasant surprise, as the rotation and bullpen have both looked better than expected. If their lineup and sluggers like Joey Votto can figure it out, which they should, I think the Reds will actually be pretty good. They’ll have Tanner Roark, one of their many big offseason acquisitions, on the mound here. Roark was mediocre during his first couple of starts as he adjusted to his new surroundings, but he’s been excellent in his last couple of outings.
— Cincinnati Reds (@Reds) April 12, 2019
Over his last two starts, he’s given up just two combined runs. Roark spent the first part of his career with the Nationals, so he has a lot of experience pitching against this Braves team. He held up pretty well against Atlanta last year and given the way he’s looked in his last couple of starts I’d expect him to pitch well again here. Cincy’s offense is quietly starting to wake up, and Votto was slowly starting to come along entering this series. The Reds had won four of five at home entering this series, and I don’t see why they’d be home underdogs here.
- 4-1 in their last 5 home games
- 3-7 in their last 10 during game 2 of a series
- 1-4 in their last 5 games vs. a starter with a WHIP greater than 1.30
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
I love the Reds here. The offense exploded in the first game of this series, and they’ve quietly been breaking out of their slump over the past week. Roark has also looked great recently, and facing off against a 21-year-old, there’s no real reason the Reds should be underdogs at home here. Take Cincinnati on the money line.
Full-Game Total Pick
I also like the over a lot here. A 21-year-old making his first road start of the year in a hitter’s park that is notoriously difficult to navigate? That’s a recipe for disaster, and with the Reds’ lineup finally coming to life they should be able to szxhit Soroka hard. The over is 6-1 the last seven times these teams have played each other, and 7-2 in Atlanta’s last nine games overall.