The Cincinnati Reds and the Atlanta Braves will begin a three-game series on Tuesday night. It’s time to continue our MLB odds series and make a Reds-Braves prediction and pick.

There are plenty of important games taking place on Tuesday, and this is certainly one of them. The Reds have started to close the gap between them and first place in the NL Central, as they trail the Milwaukee Brewers by only 5.5 games now. The Braves are on a similar path in the NL East. They trail the Philadelphia Phillies by two games, but the New York Mets are also fighting for first place in the division. These teams desperately need wins to maintain their playoff hopes, so this should be a great matchup.

Here’s how the bookmakers have set the lines for this crucial game.

MLB Odds: Reds-Braves Odds

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Cincinnati Reds ML (-103)

Atlanta Braves ML (-107)

Over 9 1/2 runs (-105)

Under 9 1/2 runs (-115)

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Why The Reds Could Cover The Spread

The Reds have one of the strongest offenses in the MLB. They rank inside the top five in baseball in OPS, OBP, batting average, and slugging percentage. A team doesn’t reach that level of offense without being consistently fantastic. Recently, Cincinnati has also been incredibly hot in the batter’s box, scoring more than four runs in seven of their last ten games. The Reds shouldn’t have any trouble hitting Braves pitcher Drew Smyly.

Smyly has been disappointing this season, posting a 4.50 ERA and a 1.41 WHIP. Both of these numbers are poor, but Smyly’s advanced stats are even more cause for concern for Atlanta. The lefty allows a barrel percentage of 9.5% and a hard-hit percentage of 40%. Both of these numbers are poor, and they match up especially poorly with Cincinnati. The Reds have seven projected starters who own barrel percentages of 9.8% or higher and four hitters with above-average hard-hit percentages. It looks like Smyly is in line to give up a number of hard-hit balls to one of the best power-hitting teams in baseball.

Why The Braves Could Cover The Spread

Luckily for the Braves, they also get to face a pitcher who has been less than stellar. Sonny Gray entered the season with very high expectations, but he hasn’t lived up to them so far. Gray owns a 4.44 ERA and a 1.40 WHIP on the year, but his stats from his last seven appearances are significantly worse than his season-long numbers. Over that span, Gray has put together a 5.56 ERA and a 1.47 WHIP. The Braves should be able to take advantage of Gray’s recent cold streak.

The Atlanta lineup also has a couple more statistical edges over Gray. The Braves are a much better offensive team at home, earning a higher batting average, OBP, OPS, and slugging percentage when hitting in Truist Park. Atlanta also has better offensive stats across the board when they face righties as opposed to lefties. The Braves have been red-hot on offense lately, scoring more than four runs in eight of their last ten games. It’s certainly possible that Atlanta extends that streak against Gray on Tuesday night.

Final Reds-Braves Prediction & Pick

The odds have this as an even matchup, and neither team has a huge edge over the other. The over is the best pick on the board here. This game involves two great offenses and two struggling starting pitchers. Both offenses match up well to their opposing pitchers, so plenty of early runs should be on the table. Neither of these teams deploys a great bullpen, so there’s absolutely no reason to shy away from the over.

FINAL PICK: Over 9 1/2 runs (-105)