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The Atlanta Braves and Cincinnati Reds will play the rubber match of their three game series here to decide who wins it. Cincinnati won the first game while Atlanta bounced back in the second. The Reds will have their ace Luis Castillo on the mound here, while Julio Teheran starts for the Braves. Due to having Castillo starting, oddsmakers have the Reds as modest favorites here for this one.
Braves Bounce Back
Atlanta lost a tough one in the first game of this series, and they then bounced back on Wednesday. Mike Soroka pitched a gem, and the bullpen finished it out as the Braves won 3-1. The Braves have been solid if not spectacular overall, and enter this one with a 12-11 record.
They haven’t played very well recently, and are just 3-5 over their last eight games. As they look to close out this series, they’ll have Julio Teheran on the mound here. Teheran has been mediocre the past couple of years, and he’s been pretty awful so far this year. Through five starts, he has a 5.61 ERA. On the road, it gets much worse. In three road starts this season, he has an 8.59 ERA. He’s also struggled against this Cincinnati lineup, as current Reds hitters have a career .313 batting average and .903 OPS against him. Yasiel Puig for example, is seven for 12 with two doubles and a home run in his career against Teheran.
The Braves are just 5-9 in their last 14 road games, and they have the much worse pitcher on the mound here. Teheran vs. Castillo is a pretty big mismatch in favor of the Reds, and I think with the way Cincy’s lineup is starting to come alive, the Braves should probably be bigger underdogs here. Atlanta’s bullpen hasn’t looked good recently, and I think the Reds have the edge there too.
Reds Have Castillo
The Reds have been one of the streakiest teams in the majors this season. They’ve alternated good stretches with really bad ones, and enter this one with a 9-14 record. They won the first game of this series 7-6, but then lost the second game as their offense went cold.
Overall though the Reds have still played much better recently, and they’ve won four of their last six games even with the loss on Wednesday. Fortunately for the Reds, they’ll have Luis Castillo on the mound here as they look to keep whatever little momentum they have going. Castillo is the team’s ace, and he’s been unbelievably good this year. He’s always been really high on talent and a top prospect, and he’s making huge strides in his third season. Castillo pitched great down the stretch last season, so this isn’t too surprising to people who have followed the Reds closely. In five September starts last season, he had a 1.04 ERA.
Luis Castillo, 96mph Fastball and 87mph Changeup, Overlay.
— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) April 21, 2019
Through five starts this season, Castillo has a 1.47 ERA and 41 strikeouts. He’s given up just five runs through five starts, and I don’t see any reason to believe he’ll slow down here. The Reds always play well when Castillo pitches, and they’re 11-4 in his last 15 home starts. They’re 5-2 in their last seven home games, and the offense is finally starting to wake up after a slow start. The Reds quietly have a very talented bullpen, and assuming Castillo can hand it off to them without much damage being done, which he should be able to, the Reds will win here.
- 5-2 in their last 7 home games
- 11-4 in Castillo’s last 15 home starts
- 4-1 in their last 5 vs. National League East
- 2-7 in Teheran’s last 9 Thursday starts
- 3-7 in their last 10 road games vs. a team with a winning home record
- 5-9 in their last 14 road games
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
I love the Reds here. Castillo has been one of the best pitchers in the majors, and he hasn’t given up more than two runs in a start since August 25th of last season. He should dominate again here, and he’s way better than Julio Teheran. Oddsmakers are still sleeping on Castillo, and the Reds should be much larger favorites here.
Full-Game Total Pick
The under also makes some sense here. Castillo has been so dominant, that it would be foolish to expect the Braves to score much at all here. The under is an incredible 9-1 in Castillo’s last ten starts, and almost every time he pitches it’s very low scoring. Cincinnati’s offense has only scored more than four runs once in their last nine games, so I wouldn’t expect too much scoring from them either.