MLB Baseball: Cincinnati Reds vs Milwaukee Brewers Prediction, Odds and Preview - 08/24/2021

by Al McMordie

Monday, Aug 23, 2021

MLB Baseball:  Cincinnati Reds vs Milwaukee Brewers Prediction, Odds and Preview - 08/24/2021

Game Time:  8:10 pm ET, Tuesday, August 24, 2021
Venue:  American Family Field, Milwaukee, WI
Where to Watch:  Bally Sports Wisconsin; Bally Sports Ohio

Opening MLB Odds at USA Sportsbooks

DraftKings:  Moneyline odds:  Brewers -175, Reds +155; Over/Under:  9 runs
BetMGM:  Moneyline odds:  Brewers -170, Reds +150; Over/Under:  9 runs
PointsBet:  Moneyline odds:  Brewers -175, Reds +155; Over/Under:  9 runs

Season Record

Brewers:  76-49, 1st NL Central
Reds:  69-57, 2nd NL Central

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Cincinnati Reds vs Milwaukee Brewers Preview and Analysis

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7-3 last 10
7-3 last 10

With just six weeks left in the Major League Baseball regular season, there's not much time left for Cincinnati to make up its 7.5-game deficit to the first-place Milwaukee Brewers.  So, this 3-game series is critical for the Reds' hope of winning the National League Central division.  Both of these division rivals enter Tuesday's game on win streaks.  Milwaukee won the last two games of its series vs. Washington, and has won each of its last four series overall (10-3 last 13 games).  Meanwhile, the Reds just completed a 4-game sweep of the cellar-dwelling Miami Marlins, with a 3-1 victory on Sunday.  For the Brewers, former NL MVP Christian Yelich is starting to finally come alive.  He led Milwaukee to a 9-6 comeback win on Saturday, as he launched two home runs, including a grand slam in the bottom of the eighth inning.  Then, on Sunday, he went 2-for-5 with an RBI to raise his batting average to .247.  The Reds' Tyler Naquin continued his hot hitting on Sunday with two solo homers in Cincy's 3-1 win, and Naquin's hit streak has reached 12 games.  But more importantly, with San Diego's 7-4 loss on Sunday to Philadelphia, the Reds are now 1 game up on the Padres for the second NL wild card.  

In this series opener, the Brewers will hand the ball to RHP Corbin Burnes (a leading Cy Young Award candidate), while the Reds will start lefty Tyler Mahle.  Burnes last saw game action a full week ago, when he took a no-hitter into the 6th inning against the St. Louis Cardinals last Tuesday.  Milwaukee won that game, 2-0, and Burnes allowed just 2 hits and 2 walks in 6 innings, and raised his record to 8-4, while lowering his ERA to 2.13.   In Mahle's last start -- a 7-1 home loss to the Chicago Cubs last Wednesday -- the Reds mustered just six hits, while Mahle surrendered five runs and eight hits in five innings.  Still, Mahle has had a nice season, with a 10-4 record, and a 3.78 ERA, in 25 starts.

One of the big keys to this matchup will be the fact that Burnes has had six days off between starts.  And Burnes' teams are 13-6 in his career (+5 games on the moneyline) when he's worked with an extra day or two of rest.  Additionally, in his last start vs. Cincinnati -- on July 18 at Great American Ball Park -- Burnes threw 8 1/3 scoreless innings in an 8-0 blanking of the Reds.  He had 12 strikeouts while allowing just 5 hits and 1 walk, but came up two outs short in his bid for his first complete game (but the Brewers’ bullpen finished off the job).

Offensive Analysis

The Cincinnati Reds have a strong offense, and rank 2nd in the National League (and 4th in Major League Baseball) in runs scored, with 637.  They also rank 4th in the Majors in both home runs (176) and RBI (613), and 5th in both batting avg. (.252) and slugging pct. (.435).  In contrast, Milwaukee’s offensive lineup is middle-of-the pack, as it is 11th in the Majors in both runs scored (584) and home runs (156), but is near the bottom (#26) in batting average, as it's hitting just .234.  And its roster ranks 18th in slugging pct. (.401).

Defensive Analysis

The Brewers' strength is its pitching rotation, as it is #3 in MLB with a 3.37 ERA, #2 in batting avg. against (.217), and #5 in WHIP (1.19).  Milwaukee's also allowed just 120 homers this season, which is tied for 2nd in baseball.  Cincinnati's pitching staff ranks 18th in ERA (4.40), 16th in batting avg. against (.242), and 22nd in WHIP (1.37).  It also has given up 160 home runs, which ranks 22nd in MLB.

Reds vs Brewers Prediction

With Milwaukee a dominant 274-145 its last 419 as a home favorite of -150 (or more), we'll take the Brewers behind Burnes on Tuesday.  Milwaukee 6 Cincinnati 2.

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MLB Betting Trends

Milwaukee Brewers are 48-26 (+12.1 games on the moneyline) off a win
Milwaukee Brewers are 274-145 (+24.2 games on the moneyline) as a home favorite of -150 (or more)
Cincinnati Reds are 53-44 (+18.1 games on the moneyline) vs. NL starters with a WHIP of 1.25 (or better)
Cincinnati Reds are 20-15 (+11.9 games on the moneyline) on the road vs. winning teams

Key Injuries

Milwaukee Brewers:  Tyrone Taylor (CF), 10-day IL (oblique); Freddy Peralta (P), 10-day IL (shoulder)
Cincinnati Reds:  Jesse Winker (LF), 10-day IL (ribs)

Players to Watch

Milwaukee Brewers:  Christian Yelich broke out of a power slump when he homered twice on Saturday in Milwaukee's 9-6 win over Washington.  It was the first time Yelich circled the bases in 69 plate appearances, and it was also his first multi-homer game since August 17, 2019.  The former NL MVP had 6 RBI, and added a stolen base in his best offensive game of the season.  He followed up Saturday's breakthrough performance with a 2-for-5 game on Sunday, so he is definitely Milwaukee's player to watch.

Cincinnati Reds:  Vladimir Gutierrez continued his torrid pitching run with a 7-inning, 1-run outing vs. Miami, on Sunday.  He struck out 8 Marlins, and has allowed just 8 earned runs over his last six games, covering 38 2/3 IP (1.86 ERA).  He's struck out 36, and walked just 10 in this span.

Notable Quotes

Cincinnati Reds catcher, Tyler Stephenson:  "If we can go up there and sweep them, it's going to make things real interesting."

Milwaukee Brewers pitcher, Adrian Houser on Yelich:  "It's a really good sight to see.  Hopefully, it keeps trending up and we get some 2018, 2019 Yellie here down the stretch."

Starting Lineups

Milwaukee Brewers
K. Wong, 2B
W. Adames, SS
C. Yelich, LF
A. Garcia, RF
E. Escobar, 1B
L. Urias, 3B
L. Cain, CF
M. Pina, C
C. Burnes, P

Cincinnati Reds
T. Naquin, LF
T. Stephenson, C
N. Castellanos, RF
J. Votto, 1B
K. Farmer, SS
M. Moustakas, 3B
J. Barrero, 2B
S. Akiyama, CF
T. Mahle, P

Statistical Leaders

Milwaukee Brewers
Batting Average:  Willy Adames (.293)
Hits:  Avisail Garcia (105)
Home Runs:  Avisail Garcia (24)
RBI:  Avisail Garcia (73)
Stolen Bases:  Kolten Wong (9)
Wins:  Brent Suter (12)
Saves:  Josh Hader (26)
ERA:  Corbin Burnes (2.13)

Cincinnati Reds
Batting Average:  Nick Castellanos (.319)
Hits:  Jesse Winker (129)
Home Runs:  Joey Votto (28)
RBI:  Joey Votto (81)
Stolen Bases:  Jonathan India (8)
Wins:  Tyler Mahle (10)
Saves:  Heath Hembree (8)
ERA:  Wade Miley (2.88)

Milwaukee Brewers:  Craig Counsell (7th season)
Cincinnati Reds:  David Bell (3rd season)

Weather Forecast

Mostly cloudy, warm and humid with a chance of rain and thunderstorms.  Wind SSE 5 mph, with gusts up to 10 mph.

All photographic images used for editorial content have been licensed from the Associated Press.

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