The Brewers offense has paced the team through two wins in Cincinnati and will look to do it again on Sunday afternoon and complete a series sweep of a division foe, but this time with pitching after putting up 15 runs so far this series.
Milwaukee continues to lead the NL Central and continuing to beat up on teams inside the division like the Reds are imperative to maintain its prime standing. The team will hope Adrian Houser can bounce back off his worst start of the year against the Reds. Cincy's starter is Ben Lively, who has fantastic marks in limited appearances this season, but his underlying metrics hint regression can be on the way.
Let's check out the odds and see if the Brewers can take all three on the road:
Brewers vs. Reds odds, run line and total
Brewers vs. Reds prediction and pick
This is a buy low spot on Houser and a sell high spot on Lively.
Let me explain.
Houser got shelled in his most recent start, allowing six earned runs on 11 hits in four-and-one-thirds innings of work. However, prior to that, he was off of back-to-back shutout starts in which he allowed only six hits. The veteran right hander has an ERA of 4.07, but has an xERA of 3.59 and has been on the wrong side of some bad variance. Opponents are hitting .365 on balls put in play, an unsustainable mark for any pitcher.
Meanwhile, Lively is with the Reds big league club after spending the start of this season and all of last season with with the AAA team. Before that he was in the KBO for two seasons. He has made five appearances (three starts) and has posted a 1.99 ERA. That looks great, but he is pitching far above his true level. He has stranded 95% of runners on base and opponents are hitting .232 on balls in play. Like Houser, these are numbers that won't keep up due to natural regression, but in the opposite direction.
In a game being lined like a pick 'em, I'll side with the better team with the superior pitcher on the bump in line for some better starts.
Game odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.