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MLB Odds: Brewers vs. Reds prediction, odds and pick – 6/17/2022

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Brewers, Reds, MLB

The Milwaukee Brewers and the Cincinnati Reds will begin a three-game series at the Great American Ballpark on Friday. It’s time to continue our MLB odds coverage with a Brewers-Reds prediction and pick.

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The Brewers are on a cold spell, going 3-11 in June. Milwaukee just lost two of three games to the Mets. The cold spell includes back-to-back home series losses at the hands of the San Diego Padres and the Philadelphia Phillies. However, they have been better on the road, where they are 20-18. The Brewers are 35-30 and remain in second place in the NL Central, trailing the St. Louis Cardinals by two games. 

The Reds have gone 5-5 over the past 10 games. Additionally, they just took two of three from the Arizona Diamondbacks. Cincinnati is 2-4 against Milwaukee this season but won two of three when the teams last met at the Great American Ballpark. Likewise, the Reds are 12-17 at home. The Reds come into this contest with a 23-40 record. It puts them in a fourth-place tie with the Chicago Cubs and 13 games behind the Cardinals. The Reds are a rebuilding team in 2022 and trying to get better daily. 

Courtesy of FanDuel, here are the Brewers-Reds odds:

MLB odds: Brewers-Reds Odds

Brewers: -1.5 (+142)

Reds: +1.5 (-172)

Over: 9.5 (-110)

Under: 9.5 (-110)

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Why The Brewers Could Cover The Spread

The Brewers will go with Eric Lauer on the hill. Lauer is 5-2 with a 3.36 ERA in 2022. Like his team, he has struggled recently. Lauer had his worst outing in a while, allowing eight earned runs on seven hits through five innings. There was a sequence where he allowed three straight hitters to hammer home runs off him. His struggles in June have mounted, and the great feeling from his fast start has disappeared. His ERA ballooned in his last start from 2.38 to 3.36. 

The bullpen has been decent, but not great. Their relievers rank 13th in the majors in team ERA. Josh Hader is the anchor at the back of the bullpen, going 0-1 with 19 saves. However, the Brewers just placed him on the paternity-leave list, and he will miss today’s game. It means someone else in this bullpen will have to pick up the slack. 

The offense has not been hot either. The Brewers rank 25th in batting average, 23rd in on-base percentage, 13th in runs scored, and 14th in slugging percentage. However, Milwaukee is also fourth in home runs. They are the ultimate boom-or-bust lineup and rely on the long ball for plenty of their scoring chances. 

Christian Yelich, Willy Adames, and Rowdy Tellez are the best players in this lineup. Yelich is batting .242 with six home runs and 268 RBIs. Likewise, Adames has 11 home runs but hitting .208. Tellez has contributed 10 home runs with 38 RBIs. Additionally, Hunter Renfroe has hit .251 with 10 home runs and 21 RBIs in 48 games. 

The Brewers will cover the spread if Lauer can bounce back and pitch as he did in April. Likewise, with Hader out, the rest of the bullpen must contribute and defend a lead or protect a tie if the situation came about. The offense must improve on recent performances and help the Brewers snap out of the skid they are currently on. 

Why The Reds Could Cover The Spread

The Reds will go with Hunter Greene on the hill. Greene is 3-7 with a 5.10 ERA in 2022. However, his last start went well. Greene tossed five-plus innings, allowing one earned run on two hits with seven strikeouts and two walks. He has done better in recent games after a bad start. Additionally, Greene has struck out 15 batters over two starts. He must have a good outing because he does not have much help.

The Reds have the worst bullpen in the majors, achieving the highest bullpen ERA. Their relievers have not been good at all and do not have the talent or the ability to hold close leads. It puts more pressure on their hitters to produce.

The Reds rank 17th in batting average, 20th in on-base percentage, 14th in runs, 20th in home runs, and 20th in slugging percentage. Cincinnati has one significant weapon. Brandon Drury is batting .270 with 13 home runs and 34 RBIs. The Reds need him if they plan on competing. 

The Reds will cover the spread if Greene pitches well and the hitters excel. They need plenty of scoring to beat Milwaukee, as both of their wins came when they scored 10 or more runs. Thus, the Reds have to score. 

Final Brewers-Reds Prediction & Pick

The Brewers did not cover the spread once in their last three-game series at the Great American Ballpark. Additionally, they lost two of three to the Reds in Cincinnati. That, coupled with their recent struggles, leads the pick to swing toward Cincinnati. Expect the Reds to cover the spread, keeping it close. 

Final Brewers-Reds Prediction & Pick: Reds: +1.5 (-172)