As long as they don’t have to play the Atlanta Braves, the Cincinnati Reds might be able to beat just about any team in baseball right now.
Besides their series with the Braves they have won seven straight series including taking two of three from the San Diego Padres this weekend to get to 45-39 and first place in the NL Central.
The Reds will take on the Washington Nationals in D.C. for four games including the Fourth of July tomorrow in the nation’s capital.
The 34-49 Nats have also won three straight series and will hand the ball to Jake Irvin tonight. Irvin will be opposed by Luke Weaver of the Reds.
Irvin is 1-4 with a 4.72 ERA in 10 starts this year while Weaver carries a 6.96 ERA and a 1-2 record into his 14th start. The Reds are slight road favorites even with Weaver’s struggles.
Reds vs. Nationals odds, run line and total
Reds vs. Nationals prediction and pick
It’s time for Cincinnati to start thinking about adding a starting pitcher at the trade deadline.
The Reds have catapulted themselves to the front of the NL Central by bringing up their prospects and watching them succeed, but now they need to add a veteran to replace Weaver’s spot in the rotation.
Somehow, Cincinnati has won the last six times he’s taken the mound despite his 9.11 ERA in that stretch.
The Reds bullpen is also below average with a 4.07 ERA, so it’s not like the door will be slammed shut after Weaver limps through four or five innings, but it hasn’t seemed to matter to the Cincy offense.
The over is 5-0 in Weaver’s last five starts and across the last three there have been 55 runs scored. In that 15 day stretch the Reds are second in runs scored only behind Atlanta by one.
The Reds not only provide ample run support for Weaver, but they crush lefties like Irvin. Nick Senzel has a 1.016 OPS against lefties this year which narrowly trails Matt McLain and TJ Friedl for the team lead.
Spencer Steer has seven home runs against lefties and top to bottom their lineup has power against lefties and works tough at-bats with a .329 team on-base percentage.
With the over performing as well as it does with Weaver pitching I’ll take it today.
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