Yesterday’s 10-3 win makes it seven in a row for the Cincinnati Reds as they’re over .500 at 36-35 and going for the sweep of the defending champions on the road. The Houston Astros are 39-32 and four games back of first place in the AL West. With a win and a Brewers loss today the Reds could take the lead in the NL Central.
The Reds look to make it eighth straight with Luke Weaver on the mound against Ronel Blanco. Weaver is 1-2 with a 6.23 ERA in 10 starts for Cincy and Blanco is 1-0 with a 3.86 ERA in two starts with nine appearances out of the Houston bullpen. Despite the red-hot Reds going for a sweep, the Astros are the favorites at home in the series finale.
Reds vs. Astros odds, run line and total
Reds vs. Astros prediction and pick
Blanco left the Houston bullpen in May to stretch out and came back on June 1 to make his first start of the year. In his two starts he’s gone a total of 11.1 innings and only allowed four runs, two in each start. He has 10 strikeouts in that stretch, but with seven walks, 10 hits, and three of those have left the yard.
The Reds will have a chance to score a few runs on Blanco and they are sixth in the MLB in runs scored this month. Their offense got a spark from Elly De La Cruz, but their lineup has been hot from top to bottom. Matt McLain has an .800 OPS this month and Jonathan India and Tyler Stephenson each have three homers. Cincy still doesn’t have the firepower that Houston boasts in their lineup, but that didn't matter in the first two games and might not today either.
Luke Weaver hasn’t been great this season, so the Reds will need to win a high scoring one today. Weaver has a good K/BB ratio, but has just given up too many hits, 61 in 52.0 innings. His whiff rate is 24th percentile and his expected slugging is .465. I do think the Reds complete the sweep today, but I think Milwaukee also wins to keep them in second place and I think they’ll have to win a shootout.
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