Image licensed from USA Today Sports
National League Central gets a heated rivalry started Thursday night with the Cincinnati Reds traveling to American Family Field, where they take on the Milwaukee Brewers. Cincinnati are entering the series that just beat the Kansas City Royals in their series, while Milwaukee lost their series to the New York Mets. For Thursday’s match, they have red right-handers Tyler Mahle start while the breweries start with the right hand Adrian Houser.
Cincy aiming for a playoff berth?
Whatever the reason may be, Cincinnati have played excellent baseball over their last seven games, going 6-1 and now having a winning record of 45-41. They have also skipped the Chicago Cubs and St. Louis. Louis Cardinals to take over second place in NL Central. The Reds have also won two series in a row and will seek to win a place on a Milwaukee team that is six games ahead of them in NL Central.
Mahle has been one of Cincys better starters of the year as he has gone 7-3 with a 3.63 ERA and 1.18 WHIP over 17 starts and 89.1 innings. In his last outing against the Brewers on June 16, Mahle had a great game, throwing six innings and hitting 12 out while allowing only one run. It’s a good thing that the Reds will be on their way to this start because Mahle has not beaten well at home, where he has a 6.06 ERA in seven starts. However, he has amassed a 5-1 record with a 2.01 ERA in 10 starts on the road.
Breweries back down to earth
In late June, Milwaukee began an 11-game winning streak in which they won four series in a row before the streak was snatched in the final game of their series against the Pittsburgh Pirates. They then lost two out of three from the Mets and lost their first series over the course of their last five. Despite all this, the Brewers remain in first place in Central with a 52-36 record and six games ahead
For the breweries on Thursday night, they are addressing Houser, who has had a decent year starting 5-5 with a 3.94 ERA over 15 starts this season. He hit a little better in June (4.33 ERA) than in May (4.50), his worst month, but his first start in July was a good one as he only allowed one run and four hits over 6.2 innings. Against the Reds this season, Houser has been a mixed bag. In his first start against them, he gave up six runs on just four innings, while allowing only one run in 5.1 innings in his second start against them.
Brewers 0-5 in their last 5 home games against the Reds.
The Reds are 12-2 in their last 14 games against NL Central.