First pitch: 8:10 p.m. ET
Probable pitchers: Trevor Bauer (1-0, 0.68 ERA) vs. Eric Lauer (0-0, 0.00 ERA)
Cincinnati Reds vs. Milwaukee Brewers Predictions
While it’s only been two starts, there has to be some early noise regarding Bauer’s National League Cy Young candidacy.
Two years ago while still a member of the Cleveland Indians, the former third-overall draft pick crafted his strongest campaign to date and was definitely in the running for the award until he was sidelined due to a fluke leg injury. As I figured coming into this makeshift season, a healthy Bauer would return to his usual prime form.
After an up-and-down showing last season that also involved getting traded to the Reds at the deadline — not to mention starring in some offseason shenanigans — it looks like Bauer is back with a vengeance. At least based on the domination he displayed across his 13.1 innings of work thus far, yielding only a single run and four hits, while tallying 20 strikeouts compared to only three walks.
Under bettors can comfortably trust a highly-motivated Bauer to keep it going, especially opposite one of the majors’ lower-scoring offenses (3.9 runs per game) — and one that is still struggling (.220 team batting average) at the dish.
But can we also be safe with Lauer starting on the mound? While it’s understandable to think the third-year southpaw might be a little rusty, as he’s only made one appearance after his delayed arrival to the team (exposed to someone with coronavirus prior), I feel that can actually work in his favor.
Not only is tonight’s start the first for Lauer in his fresh uni, it’s also something that’s been a longtime coming, with the former San Diego Padre sidelined by a shoulder injury during spring training and then not being able to join his new teammates until after summer camp.
Lauer will be antsy and ready to go, and he has every right to be confident, too, after tossing 2.2 scoreless innings in his lone outing out of the bullpen. He allowed only a hit and a walk while striking out six.
Working in Lauer’s favor is the fact that Cincinnati has been anything but a “big red machine” against left-handed pitchers. In fact, the Reds are third-worst in baseball with a woeful .173 team batting average off southpaws while striking out once every 3.38 at-bats.
Both clubs have above-average bullpens to work with as well. All things considered, there’s a lot to like here making this play.
Friday's MLB Leans
TOR/BOS Under 10.5
2020 MLB Over/Under Betting Record*: 4-8-2, -5.04 units
Yesterday’s Result: Angels-Mariners Under 8.5 (WIN)
*Each bet graded as if it were to win 1 unit