Braves vs. Reds Betting Line – May 11

Written by:
Carrie Stroup
Published on:
Braves vs. Reds Betting Line – May 11

Carrie Stroup here with your Braves vs. Reds betting line for May 11

ATLANTA BRAVES (14-17) at CINCINNATI REDS (15-16) Line: Cincinnati -134, Atlanta +124, Total: 7.5

Two struggling National League clubs, the Atlanta Braves and Cincinnati Reds, meet for the first of three games against each other on Monday night.

The expectations are low for the Braves this season after the dismantling of the team which left little in terms of established talent around. After a solid start to the year, they have leveled off while going 8-16 since April 14th. They did open May with victories in four of their first six games, but once again could not sustain the success and were swept over three contests in Washington this weekend. The pitching staff allowed a hot-hitting Nationals group to plate 22 runs in the series as the sweep was capped off with a 5-4 defeat on Sunday afternoon. The teams combined for 23 hits in the game and even though 12 of them came from Atlanta, they were 4-for-13 with RISP and blew the lead in the bottom of the eighth inning; allowing two runs with a single run lead. With another multi-hit effort, 1B Freddie Freeman (.328) extended his hitting streak to seven contests in which he’s gone 14-for-28 (.500) with six doubles, one homer, eight RBI and seven runs.

Cincinnati comes into this matchup fresh off of a long road trip in which they played 10 games and went 5-5. They allowed a decent 4.6 runs per game over the period, but have seen balls going everywhere against them in the past four outings, giving up 23 runs and going 1-3 in the process. They lost 2-of-3 in the recent weekend series against the White Sox and nearly took a series win after a close 4-3 loss on Sunday. Chicago scored a run in each of the final three innings as the bullpen allowed four hits with a strikeout and two walks in their 3.2 innings of work. After going 2-for-3 with a run in the loss, 2B Brandon Phillips (.310) continues to have a nice bounce back campaign, and even though his power numbers aren’t quite there (1 HR), he has multiple hits in six of his last 10 performances.

The pitching matchup in this game will feature RHP Shelby Miller (4-1, 1.66 ERA) of the visiting Braves and RHP Mike Leake (2-1, 2.47 ERA) for the Reds. The loss on Sunday pushed Atlanta’s road record to 6-9 as they take on this Cincinnati group which has posted a 6-5 record at Great American Ball Park. These two teams met at the beginning of May for four games and they split the contests with the Reds having the slightest of edges (16-14) in runs scored. Overall, the Braves have an 11-7 advantage in the matchup since the start of 2013 and are 4-3 when on the road in that time.

Some trends to watch include that when Miller is pitching on the road with a total of eight to 8.5 in the past two seasons, his team is a perfect 10-0, but Atlanta is a meager 72-81 (.471) against right-handed starters in the same span. The only regular offensive player that will be out for this matchup is 3B Chris Johnson (Hand) for the Braves.                                                                                                 

Miller was the player Atlanta targeted when they went to move OF Jason Heyward and he has been phenomenal for his new club thus far, giving up a mere seven runs in his first six starts (1.66 ERA) as the Braves are 5-1 when he toes the rubber. He’s benefited from batters hitting an unsustainable .206 BABIP against him as he leaves 89% of runners on base, so some regression is certainly expected. The former first-round pick will be looking to post his third straight season with 30+ starts and an ERA better than 3.75 as the season progresses and he should be feeling great after his best outing of the 2015 (9 IP, 0 ER, 3 H, 8 K) against Philadelphia last week.

In his seven career starts against the Reds, Miller is 2-3 (4-3 team record) with a 3.24 ERA (1.18 WHIP) and took his only loss of the year when he faced them in the last series, going seven innings with three runs allowed (2 ER) as two of the three hits given up went over the fence. Two unlikely players, C Travis Barnhart and RHP Mike Leake, took Miller deep in that loss as 2B Brandon Phillips (6-for-17, 1 HR, 1 RBI) has also hit a homer and done well in the matchup. On the other hand, five of Cincinnati’s key players (Jay Bruce, Marlon Byrd, Todd Frazier, Zack Cozart, Billy Hamilton) have gone a combined 10-for-67 (.149) with 19 strikeouts.

The bullpen for the Braves is a poor 3-7 with a 4.88 ERA (1.36 WHIP) and have successfully saved 10-of-14 games. Jason Grilli (4.50 ERA, 9 saves) has allowed four runs in his last three innings of work with one resulting in his first blown save of the year.                                                                          

Leake is a pure contact pitcher who depends on getting groundballs, which he has done 53% of the time this season. His strikeouts (5.6 K/9) remain low as his control keeps improving and the righty has walked a mere 10 batters in 43.2 IP (2.1 BB/9). Just like his counterpart in this one, Leake has benefited from opponents hitting just .185 BABIP, a number that should begin to rise as most of his at-bats end in the ball being in play. He is red hot coming into this contest, throwing 16 scoreless innings with eight hits allowed over his last two starts, striking out five batters with two walks. One of those was against this Atlanta group (8 IP, 0 ER, 2 H, 3K) and in his career facing them he is 4-2 (4-3 team record) with a 2.03 ERA (0.95 WHIP) while giving up no runs on four hits in his last two starts (14.2 IP).

SS Andrelton Simmons (5-for-13, 1 double) and 2B Kelly Johnson (5-for-16, 1 double,1 HR, 2 RBI) have done well against the 27-year-old while 1B Freddie Freeman could see his hot hitting come to a halt as he is 1-for-15 with 4 Ks in this matchup; his only hit leaving the yard.

The Reds relievers have been the worst in the league, going 4-5 with a 5.56 ERA (1.44 WHIP) and are 6-for-10 in save opportunities. Aroldis Chapman (0.68 ERA, 6 saves) has not been the problem despite getting the loss on Sunday and has 23 strikeouts with one run allowed over 13.1 frames.

- Carrie Stroup, Senior Reporter

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