Atlanta Trying To Close in NL East
The Atlanta Braves try to avoid a second loss in a row when they take on the host Cincinnati Reds in the first of a three-game series Friday night. Atlanta had its two-game winning streak snapped with a Thursday pounding at Philadelphia. Atlanta is in second place in the NL East, 3½ games behind the first-place New York Mets. Cincinnati’s lost two in a row, in last place in the NL Central standings. Read our in-depth preview of this contest.
Braves Ended Blistering June
Despite losing, 14-4, at Philadelphia Thursday, the Atlanta Braves had a spectacular month of June. Atlanta finished 21-6, tying the most wins in a calendar month since the franchise moved from Milwaukee in 1966. Once thought a foregone conclusion, the NL East has tightened, with the Braves trying to reel in the New York Mets.
“Hopefully I look back in three months and think that’s the month that propelled us to another division title,” Braves manager Brian Snitker said after the loss Thursday.
Outfielder Adam Duvall homered for the second straight game Thursday night, going 2-for-4 with a pair of runs scored. Duvall is batting just .205, but has 12 doubles, a triple, 10 home runs, 31 RBIs and 35 runs scored.
Shortstop Dansby Swanson was hitless in the three-game series against Philly, going 0-for-12 with five strikeouts. He still leads the team with a .292 batting average and 43 RBIs, adding 14 doubles, a triple, 13 home runs, and 48 runs scored.
Lefthander Max Fried gets the start Friday night, goes for an eighth win in a row. Fried was 2-0 with a 2.16 ERA in five starts in June, and is 7-2 with a 2.77 ERA overall in 2022. He had a no-decision in his latest outing, pitching 6⅔ innings against the Los Angeles Dodgers last Saturday. He surrendered two runs on six hits, striking out nine and walking one.
Reds Struggle With Consistency
Winning two out of three from the San Francisco Giants, then their series opener with the Chicago Cubs, the Cincinnati Reds looked like they might perhaps be turning it around. The final two games against the Cubs were lost by a combined score of 23-10, a sour taste in the team’s mouth as it heads home for the next 11 games.
Lefthander Mike Minor will try to get the team off to a good start to its homestand, making his sixth start of the season Friday. Minor is 1-4 with a 7.71 ERA, striking out 21 in 25⅔ innings. He’s coming off a loss to the Giants last Saturday, going five innings and allowed six runs on eight hits, including three homers
Veteran first baseman Joey Votto had a home run among his three hits in the loss Thursday. The 38-year-old is batting .224 with 15 doubles, a triple, six home runs, 25 RBIs and 22 runs scored.
Third baseman Brandon Drury had his eight-game hitting streak snapped with an 0-for-4 Thursday. Drury is leading the Reds with 16 home runs, 40 RBIs, and 48 runs scored, batting .274 with 14 doubles and a triple.
Braves vs Reds Head-To-Head
The Atlanta Braves have won the last two season series with the Cincinnati Reds. after failing to win the majority of the games in the previous five seasons. The teams split a four-game series in Atlanta in early May, so now the Braves need to win a series in Cincinnati for the first time since 2017 to keep that streak alive.
Cincinnati hasn’t exactly dominated at home over the last few seasons, going 7-7 against Atlanta since the start of the 2017 campaign. The MLB lines don’t anticipate the home team doing much in this one, either, tabbing the Braves a huge favorite to take the series opener.
Braves vs Reds Game Information
- Game: Braves (44-33) vs Reds (26-49)
- Location: Great American Ball Park, Cincinnati, OH
- Day/Time: Friday,July 1, 6:40 p.m. ET
- Braves vs Reds Live Stream: MLB.tv
Braves vs Reds Betting Lines
M. Fried -L
|-1½ -160||-270||9½-110o||5½-135o / 5½+105u|
M. Minor -L
|+1½ +140||+220||9½-110u||3½-110o / 3½-120u|
Braves vs Reds Prediction
The Atlanta Braves are coming off one of their best months in decades, fighting for another division title. The Cincinnati Reds are already playing out the string, going with young players to build for the future. That combination, and Fried being on the mound, makes a picking against the Braves a losing proposition.
Take the Atlanta Braves to win on the road.
Pick: Atlanta Braves -270
The odds and predictions in the article are based on the time of writing and publication. They may differ as to when the actual event takes place.