Cincinnati Reds at Atlanta Braves MLB Pick 7/11
The good news for the Reds is that Mat Latos will take the mound. He has 33 K in his last 20.1 IP, and has been steady for most of the season (8-2, 3.18). He’s been a tad better on the road, so perhaps he’s in for another quality start tonight. He’ll need plenty of support, however, and the Reds have been unable to count on much production from anyone not named Joey Votto or Jay Bruce. Even Bruce hasn’t homered since June 22, while Votto has also cooled of late. We think Cincy has the depth to hang in there for 2013, but right now Brandon Phillips (.198 in the last month), Shin-Soo Choo, and others just haven’t been mashing.
For the Braves, their shiny 29-13 home record bodes well, as does Tim Hudson’s home splits. The veteran is 3-0 with a 2.68 ERA and 1.01 WHIP this year, a stark contrast from his road stats. He’ll look to keep that up, while the bullpen remains anchored by All-Star closer Craig Kimbrel and a stockpile of relievers with sub-3.00 ERAs. At the plate, Freddie Freeman looks to bust out on a day that may see him voted into the All-Star game. Despite B.J. Upton’s infamous struggles in 2013, the lineup is producing. Brother Justin is hot in July while 3B Chris Johnson has come alive and Brian McCann has regained his old self (.350, 10 XBH in last month).
We usually like the Reds when Latos is pitching, but this is a tough matchup facing Hudson in Atlanta. Look for a close game with many of the breaks going in Atlanta’s favor. Free Pick: Atlanta