The Cincinnati Reds will end the unofficial first-half of the 2023 season with a three-game series against the Milwaukee Brewers. The Redlegs currently lead the Brew Crew by two games in the NL Central standings.
After the All-Star break, David Bell's team returns home, where the Reds will play the Brewers again, for another three-game series.
Later in the month of July, Cincinnati and Milwaukee will meet for what will be their final series of the 2023 season. In all, nine of the Reds next 16 games will played against the Brewers. The next 20 days could define, not only the Reds season, but how Nick Krall and Company manage the trade deadline.
Upcoming clashes with the Brewers could define the Reds 2023 season.
More than likely, Cincinnati's biggest threat to taking home the NL Central crown for the first time since 2012 resides in southeast Wisconsin. The St. Louis Cardinals appear dead in the water at 15 games under .500, while both the Chicago Cubs and Pittsburgh Pirates are more than eight games back of the Reds just before the upcoming All-Star break.
Earlier this season, the Milwaukee Brewers took three out of four games from the Cincinnati Reds at Great American Ball Park. Two of the three losses were by two runs or fewer, and of course, Elly De La Cruz had yet to make his major league debut.
In order for the Reds to own a winning record over the Brewers, Cincinnati will need to take six of the next nine games. To do so, they'll need to lean heavily on their hitting, as both Hunter Greene and Nick Lodolo aren't expected back until August.
The Reds' path to winning the season series over the Brewers begins on Friday, as the undefeated Andrew Abbott. Abbott will likely be opposed by former NL Cy Young Award-winner Corbin Burnes. Don't look for many runs to be tallied in this one.
Cincinnati will then sent the inconsistent Luke Weaver to the hill on Saturday to battle Milwaukee's Colin Rea. Neither skipper has named a starter for Sunday, but all signs point to the return of Ben Lively for the Reds. Brewers' manager Craig Counsell will probably turn to former Reds lefty Wade Miley.
One victory in the upcoming series would guarantee the Cincinnati Reds first-place in the NL Central as we head into the All-Star break. If David Bell's squad can keep their winning ways going, a series sweep of the Milwaukee Brewers would give Cincinnati a commanding five-game lead in the division before the second-half of the season begins.