As the baseball season winds down, the play-off race intensifies and gives an added edge for the meeting of the Milwaukee Brewers at the Cincinnati Reds today (7.10pm ET, Tuesday, Sept 25).
For the Reds, who earlier last week assured them of the NL West title, this means fighting to finish above the Washington Nationals for home field advantage throughout the post season.
For their division rivals the Brewers, it requires returning to their winning ways in an attempt to catch the St. Louis Cardinals for the second wildcard spot. Now finding themselves three games back of that coveted spot, they need this series to keep post season hopes alive.
Pitching Probables: Mike Fiers vs. Johnny Cueto
Expected to go is right hander Johnny Cueto (pictured) for the Reds and right hander Mike Fiers for the Brewers. Both pitchers have been enjoying pretty good seasons. Cueto especially has been in the midst of a great season and is making a push to be a contender for the NL Cy Young. Here are the stat lines for the two pitchers and their body of work from the season:
- Johnny Cueto (CIN): 18-9, 2.84 ERA, 159 SO, 1.19 WHIP
- Mike Fiers (MIL): 9-8, 3.38 ERA, 117 SO, 1.22 WHIP
Given the two lines, it is clear that Cueto is the better pitcher. In terms of the actual game however, this particular stat line might not be telling of just who will dominate the head-to-head match-up.
Mike Fiers vs. the Reds Right Handed Batters
Of the Reds 22 available position players, 14 of the fielders bat right-handed. Of the starting line-up, the eight position players bat predominantly from the right side of the plate.
- Joey Votto: 239 at-bats, .356 batting average against righties
- Drew Stubbs: 334 at-bats, .192 batting average against righties
- Scott Rolen: 199 at-bats, .246 batting average against righties
- Brandon Phillips: 395 at-bats, .294 batting average against righties
- Todd Frazier: 286 at-bats, .269 batting average against righties
Of these right-handed batters from the Reds starting nine, only Stubbs and Rolen really saw a drastic decrease from their regular batting average and their average against righties.
BetOnline Betting Lines (accepts all USA clients) money line:
-142 Cincinnati Reds; +132 Milwaukee Brewers
Bovada (all US except Maryland, Utah, NY, Washington) money line:
-142 Cincinnati Reds; +132 Milwaukee Brewers
Bet365 (for UK & all non-USA residents) money line:
4/6 Cincinnati Reds; 27/20 Milwaukee Brewers
Against right-handed batters, Fiers has allowed batters to hit .231 against him with just five home runs, 22 RBI and 61 strikeouts. He is allowing a .259 batting average to lefties amounting to a .245 overall average.
While Fiers has had a pretty good success against right handers this season, so have the Reds right-handed hitters. Where Fiers would normally have an advantage, don’t count on it against these Cincinnati hitters.
Advantage: Reds right-handed hitters
Johnny Cueto vs. the Brewers Right Handed Batters
On the other side of the coin is Brewers’ ace Johnny Cueto who has dominated right-handed hitters all season long. Given 347 at-bats against him, righties are hitting just .216 against him. Lefties on the other hand are hitting much higher at .285.
Of the Reds position players on their 40-man roster, 12 of them bat right handed including MVP candidate Ryan Braun and top offensive weapons, Corey Hart and Rickie Weeks.
- Ryan Braun: 423 at-bats, .303 average against righties (.360)
- Corey Hart: 408 at-bats, .275 average against righties (.286)
- Rickie Weeks: 431 at-bats, .227 average against righties (.252)
Looking at these numbers, Cueto has a definite advantage against the Brewers top right handers. All three of them have lower numbers against righties than they do against lefties which are accounted for by the numbers in the parentheses.
These three do however have better power and production numbers against righties. Braun has 23 of his 40 HR against them, Weeks 18-of-20 and Hart, who is currently day-to-day with a foot injury has 24 of his 27 home runs against them.
On the inverse, Cueto has given up just seven home runs and 25 RBI against right handed hitters.
Advantage: Johnny Cueto
What You Need to Know
- The Brewers are the highest scoring team in all of major league baseball. On the season, they average 4.8 runs a game. The Reds defense though only allows 3.7 runs a game, good enough for second best in the MLB.
- On the season, Cueto has given up just 64 earned runs and has a 2.84 ERA. At home, his ERA is 2.80 and the opponent’s batting average is .248. The Brewers also lead the league in strikeouts per game at 8.6. Cueto is in the middle of the pack with 159 strikeouts on the season.
- Cincinnati is 6-4 in their last ten games. Their most recent game was a loss against the LA Dodgers. Milwaukee is 7-3 in their last ten games and 16 of their last 22. They are coming off a defeat against the Nationals by a score of 12-2.
- Cueto has been struggling in the month of September. He is 1-3 and has not lasted longer than seven innings a start. He has given up 14 runs in the month in 21.1 innings pitched. He is however coming off a win against the Chicago Cubs having pitched six strong innings giving up five hits and no runs.
Brewers v Reds Picks & Betting Advice
Cueto has been a victim of the base on balls in his last three starts. He has walked seven in a little over 14 innings pitched. The Brewers meanwhile are toward the top of the league in free passes.
For the Reds to win, Cueto needs to build off of his last start, a win against Chicago, and pitch well. The Brewers offense will no doubt be tough to beat but Cueto has pitched extraordinarily well at home and against righties on the season. To add to this, Brewers best hitter Ryan Braun is just a .241 hitter with zero home runs against Cueto.
- All of the signs point to a Reds victory today. We advise a bet on the Reds today on the runline and would not put you off a bet on the moneyline instead if you prefer. The Reds are currently favorite on the moneyline @ -142 with Bovada (all USA can join Bovada except residents of these four states: Utah, Maryland, Washington, New York) and also -142 with BetOnline Sportsbook (All Americans accepted).
- On the runline the Reds are -1.5 @ +150 odds with Bovada & +155 with BetOnline Sportsbook.
- Also, with the prolific offense of the Brewers and Reds, this game could turn into a high scoring affair. Even with Cueto pitching, his recent struggles leave an opening for the Brewers hitters to put up big numbers alongside the Cincinnati offense. Look for the game to meet the over eight total runs @ -110 with BetOnline Sportsbook (-115 with Bovada).
- UK & all non-USA residents: Place the same bets with Bet365.