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Braves vs. Reds Expert Pick and Prediction – June 23, 2023

Braves vs. Reds Expert Pick and Prediction – June 23, 2023

BRAVES VS. REDS EXPERT PICK AND PREDICTION – June 23, 2023 — It’s pretty rare to get a matchup of two teams carrying winning streaks of six or more, and it’s even rarer for a team to have won 11 straight games and yet come in as a home underdog.

But that’s the situation we’ve got here, as the Reds still aren’t getting people to take them seriously in the National League despite winning every game for almost two weeks.

It doesn’t really help matters for the Reds that they’re sending Luke Weaver to the mound, even though Cincinnati has won Weaver’s past four starts. Those were more of an example of why wins aren’t really a prized category for pitchers anymore, as Weaver needed his offense to come through for him.

In those four starts, he allowed 18 runs and never made it past the sixth inning, but it didn’t matter because the Reds hit. And that’s pretty much the story with Weaver: when the Reds give him at least five runs of offense, they’re 6-0 with him on the mound. When they don’t, they’re 0-5.

And Atlanta really isn’t the type of team that’s well known for giving up a lot of runs. The Braves have held their opponent to three or less in five of their past six games, including two at the launching pad of Citizens Bank Park against the Phillies. Atlanta remains expected to win most nights, but that doesn’t change just how strong the Braves have been all season. This is a top team that’s a favorite for a reason.

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FUN My Pillow

The Odds

Matchup

Open

Spread

Total

Moneyline

Atlanta Braves

(48-26 SU,
36-38 RL)

-1.5

-1.5

O10.5

-150

Cincinnati Reds

(40-35 SU, 47-28 RL)

U10.5

+1.5

U10.5

+130

First Pitch

When: Friday, June 23rd at 6:40 p.m. EDT

Where: Great American Ball Park, Cincinnati

Starting Pitchers: A.J. Smith-Shawver, ATL (1-0, 2.03 ERA, 11 K’s) vs. Luke Weaver, CIN (1-2, 6.47 ERA, 50 K’s) 

Public Bets: 61% on Atlanta

Public Money: 67% on Atlanta

Odds courtesy of DraftKings, as of June 23rd, 2023

DraftKings

Atlanta vs. Cincinnati In-Season Trends

Atlanta has dominated the National League Central, winning 36 of 51 against the division.

It’s one reason why the Central quintet hasn’t exactly gotten a lot of respect: they haven’t really proven themselves against good competition.

Cincinnati did look good against the Dodgers, but most of this winning streak has come against substandard opposition. They’ve also struggled to handle the Braves, losing five of the past six meetings with Atlanta.

Great American Ball Park has a reputation for playing small (hence its “Great American Small Park” nickname), but that doesn’t really happen when Atlanta comes to Ohio. The UNDER has cashed in eight of the past nine meetings in Cincinnati.

Players to Watch

Jonathan India has hit well during this win streak for Cincinnati, recording nine hits and driving in eight runs. He’s Cincinnati’s best power threat, and he’ll need to produce in this series for Cincinnati to prove it belongs with the best. 

For Atlanta, Ronald Acuna is always a threat to reach base and always a threat to score when he gets on. He’s hit safely in four of Atlanta’s past five and scored a run in four of Atlanta’s past five. The Braves rely pretty heavily on the majors’ second-best hitter, and he’ll likely be a top contributor here.

The Pick

For all of the Reds’ recent success, they’ve only been middling at home this season, holding a 20-18 record in Cincinnati. With Weaver on the mound, it’s pretty easy to see where this streak might end.

However, the teams played out three one-run games when the Braves hosted earlier this season, with Atlanta coming out the winner in all of them. That suggests the gap isn’t that wide, and there’s a real chance we see a tight battle here.

I don’t trust Cincinnati enough to back them outright, but getting a hot team with a free run at home is hard to resist.

Dan’s Picks

Reds +1.5

Under 10.5

Ronald Acuna Over 0.5 Hits

Cedric Mullins Over 0.5 Hits

Check out John’s MLB Wagers for Friday:

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