Burnes Is Back To Dominance

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Reds vs. Brewers, 8:10 ET

There was a funny story from last night’s game between the Reds and Brewers. I love when people to be funny but it ends up blowing up in their face. The Brewers scoreboard operator was making a joke about Elly De La Cruz putting up a “fun fact” about him. In the first inning of last night’s game, he sent a deep drive that ended up as a flyout. The operator posted “Almost hit a home run in the first inning… but didn’t.” While that sign was up on the screen, De La Cruz sent the ball about nine million miles into the stands. Don’t poke the bear.

The Reds come into this game a game and a half behind the Brewers and this will likely be the most important series of the season for Cincinnati so far. Most of the time you’ll hear about how pressure gets to teams and they need to lose before they can win. I think in this situation, the Reds are playing with house money and they know it. No one expected them to be good this season but they are hanging around as we get to the last two months of the season. Maybe they are just delusional enough to get through this season and make it into the playoffs. Tonight, they send out Andrew Abbott, a lefty, to take on the Brewers. This will be Abbott’s fourth start this season against the Brewers. He was stellar in two of them and terrible in the other one. His good starts came at home, and his bad start came on the road. He allowed six earned runs over 4.1 innings to the Brewers. Aside from that start, he has been very good on the road, allowing just one earned run over 17.2 innings.

The Reds take on the Brewers but have really struggled against them this season. (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)

After winning the first game of the series, the Brewers are now 9-2 on the season against the Reds. The Brewers continue to do whatever they can to scrape and claw their way to the first place of the division. This is pretty much the same way that they go about their business for years. The pitching staff does enough to keep them relevant, and their hitting and fielding does just enough to keep them winning games. They are somewhat streaky as a team overall, but right now they are playing pretty solid baseball. Tonight, they send out their Ace, Corbin Burnes, to the hill in hopes of taking the second game of the three-game series. Burnes has been a bit rough this season compared to year’s past. He has a 3.49 ERA overall, but has a 4.13 home ERA. July has been his best month of the season and it isn’t really close. This month, he has allowed just four earned runs over 27 innings and has gone 14 straight scoreless innings. He has faced the Reds three times this season and has allowed five runs over 18 innings. His best start was his most recent home start where he allowed just two hits and two walks over six innings and struck out 13.

I would be surprised if this game gets over the 4.5 runs in the first five innings of the game, but I think the best way to play this is to take the Brewers to lead after five innings. The current form of Burnes is too good to pass up right now. I also think that Abbott facing the Brewers for the fourth time is a disadvantage. I’m taking Brewers -0.5 through five innings.

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Written by David Troy

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