National League Central Division rivals are set to kick off a four-game series on Thursday night at Miller Park. The Cincinnati Reds will head out to play the Milwaukee Brewers and come into this series with a ton of momentum. Milwaukee will be looking to snap a brief three-game losing streak that has cost them the top spot in the division.
Cincinnati just swept the AL West-leading Houston Astros in a three-game series. The Reds have improved their record to 34-38 on the season but are still sitting in fourth place in the Central Division. Milwaukee just got swept by the San Diego Padres but return home to a place where they have dominated. The Brewers are 40-34 on the season and sit in second place in the division. Milwaukee is -145 over the Reds in the series opener.
Nelson Needs To Pitch Better
If the Brewers are going to get back on track in this one, they are going to need a much better start from right-hander Jimmy Nelson. Nelson is making just his third start of the season in this game, and things have not gone well for him. The veteran has pitched just seven total innings in his first two starts while allowing eight earned runs. Milwaukee is counting on Nelson to be an ace in their rotation, but he needs to turn things around in a hurry.
Christian Yelich and Mike Moustakas have done their part for the Brewers on offense, but they are going to need some help. Yelich leads the team with 27 home runs and 58 runs batted in and has been fantastic at Miller Park. Moustakas is having a terrific season for the Brewers and has chipped in with 21 long balls to go along with 45 RBI.
Reds Still Looking For More Offense
Even though the Cincinnati Reds just pulled off an impressive three-game sweep, they are still waiting for their offense to really get going. The Reds scored just 10 runs in that series against the Astros, and a few of their big hitters are really struggling. Eugenio Suarez leads the Reds with 43 runs batted in but is hitting just over .100 since the beginning of June. Joey Votto is a perennial All-Star candidate but has hit just six home runs this season. The Reds will have to score to beat the Brew Crew.
Tanner Roark will be on the mound for the Reds in this game and will be looking for his first win after losses in his last three starts. Roark brings a 4-6 record into this game, but his ERA is a very respectable 3.63. A lack of run support has hurt him in his recent starts, but he is a part of a much-improved Reds pitching staff this season. The Reds will have their hands full with a Brewers team that hits much better at Miller Park.
Brewers Win Series Opener
The Cincinnati Reds come into this series with a ton of momentum, but the Brewers are extremely tough to beat in Milwaukee. The Brewers will be upset after suffering a three-game sweep earlier this week, and they should be ready to mash in this game. Bet the Milwaukee Brewers -145 over the Cincinnati Reds.