Reds vs. Braves: Pitching preview, prediction, and more

CINCINNATI, OHIO - JUNE 24: Dansby Swanson #7 of the Atlanta Braves attempts to turn a double play past Eugenio Suarez #7 of the Cincinnati Reds in the sixth inning at Great American Ball Park on June 24, 2021 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)
CINCINNATI, OHIO - JUNE 24: Dansby Swanson #7 of the Atlanta Braves attempts to turn a double play past Eugenio Suarez #7 of the Cincinnati Reds in the sixth inning at Great American Ball Park on June 24, 2021 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images) /
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Kevan Smith #52 of the Atlanta Braves attempts to tag out Jesse Winker #33 of the Cincinnati Reds.
CINCINNATI, OHIO – JUNE 24: Kevan Smith #52 of the Atlanta Braves attempts to tag out Jesse Winker #33 of the Cincinnati Reds. (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images) /

The Cincinnati Reds begin a pivotal road trip in Atlanta.

After completing a 5-1 homestand, the Cincinnati Reds (61-52) stumbled last night, dropping a makeup date with the Cleveland Indians at Progressive Field. Unfortunately, the road doesn’t get any easier this week as they visit the two hottest teams in the National League East in the Atlanta Braves and Philadelphia Phillies.

Cincinnati is slowly but surely getting healthy. Over the weekend, both third baseman Mike Moustakas and reliever Lucas Sims returned from the IL after extensive stays on the shelf. All hands will need to be on deck versus a streaking Braves ballclub.

Despite losing one of the most exciting players in the game in Ronald Acuna Jr. to a season-ending knee injury, the Atlanta Braves (57-55) have gone 7-3 over their last 10 contests and have surged into second place in the NL East as the New York Mets sink like a stone.

The Braves front office has been busy adding reinforcements in the outfield. Before the July 30th trade deadline, the club acquired former Chicago Cub slugger Joc Pederson and former Redleg Adam Duvall from the Miami Marlins.

This is Duvall’s second tour of duty in Atlanta. The Kentucky native hit 22 homers for the Marlins and has already gone deep twice in nine games with the Braves. Entering play today, his 24 round-trippers are good enough for third in the senior circuit.

Over the last several years, Truist Park has been a very welcoming ballpark for the Reds. Cincinnati has not lost a series in Atlanta since the 2014 season. The Redlegs and Braves split a four-game set in June at Great American Ball Park, and Cincinnati is looking to capture the season series over Atlanta for the fifth time in the last six years.