The Atlanta Braves are one step away from the National League Division Series following a 1-0 victory over the Cincinnati Reds in the opening contest of the best-of-three wild-card series on Wednesday.
These two foes will face off against each other once more on Thursday afternoon with the first pitch at 12:08 PM ET, so let’s take a look at all need-to-know betting tips and trends along with our best betting pick for the Reds versus Braves showdown at Truist Park in Atlanta.
The Braves entered the postseason without a couple of starting pitchers, as Mike Soroka and Cole Hamels are done for the season due to injuries. The Reds are without a pair of relievers, Matt Bowman and Tyler Thornburg, while outfielder Brian Goodwin is questionable due to a groin injury.
What’s at Stake?
Cincinnati’s season is on the line, and the Reds are winless in five straight playoff outings. Atlanta is only 5-12 in its last 17 playoff contests, but the Braves are searching for their third straight NLDS appearance.
The opening game of this series was a proper nail-biter, and the Braves won it narrowly at the bottom of the 13th inning thanks to Freddy Freeman’s single that drove the winning run home.
It was a tough loss for the Reds who’ll have a tall task to regroup and bounce back in a win-or-go-home clash.
The Braves entered this series as firm favorites to proceed further. They had the second-highest scoring offense in the regular season, averaging 5.80 runs per game. On the other side, the Reds were tallying only 4.05 runs per contest which were the third-fewest in the majors.
However, the Braves struggled mightily against Trevor Bauer in Game 1, and the Reds’ right-hander set the franchise record with 12 strikeouts in the postseason outing. Bauer was outstanding in the regular season, and the Braves should have a slightly easier job against Luis Castillo in Game 2.
Castillo went 4-6 with a 3.21 ERA and 1.23 WHIP in 12 starts this past regular season. He had some ups and downs, showing brief glimpses of quality, but Luis was inconsistent in general.
Ian Anderson will take the hill for Atlanta in Game 2, and the rookie right-hander surprised many with his quality pitching in the regular season. He went 3-2 with a 1.95 ERA and 1.08 WHIP in six starts.
Anderson was charged with a loss in his previous two outings, but he pitched well on both occasions, allowing three earned runs on 11 hits while striking out 14 across 10.1 innings of work.
These two foes haven’t met each other during the regular season due to a specific and abbreviated schedule. Still, the opening game of their playoff series proved how powerless is the Reds’ lineup, so the visitors could struggle against Ian Anderson, too.
On the other side, Luis Castillo has been pretty unpredictable thus far, but I expect the Braves to do a much better job on the plate after a frustrating day in the office thanks to Trevor Bauer. Therefore, my best betting pick here is Atlanta to win at -133 odds.