Teams looking for their first playoff series win in quite some time square off in the National League Wild Card round of the 2020 MLB Playoffs playoffs when the Atlanta Braves host the Cincinnati Reds in Game 1 on Wednesday. The Reds (31-29), the seventh seed, are making their first playoff appearance since 2013, while the Braves (35-25), the second seed, are making their third straight postseason appearance. Cincinnati last won a series in 1995, while Atlanta has not won one since 2001. The Braves have lost 10 consecutive playoff series.
First pitch from Truist Park in Atlanta is set for noon ET. Atlanta is the -125 favorite on the money line in the latest Braves vs. Reds odds from William Hill, while the over-under for total runs scored is 7.5. Before making any Reds vs. Braves picks, check out the latest MLB predictions from the SportsLine Projection Model.
The model, which simulates every MLB game 10,000 times, is coming off a banner 2019 season. The model returned more than $1,400 on its top-rated money-line and run-line MLB picks, and anyone who followed it saw huge rewards.
- Braves vs. Reds money line: Cincinnati +115, Atlanta -125
- Braves vs. Reds run line: Atlanta -1.5
- Braves vs. Reds over-under: 7.5 runs
- CIN: 3B Eugenio Suarez led the Reds in home runs with 15 this season
- ATL: Was second in MLB with 103 home runs this year
Why you should back the Braves
Atlanta will send left-hander Max Fried (7-0, 2.25 ERA) to the mound to make his first postseason start. Fried turned his ankle in his start on Wednesday against Miami, but threw a successful stint of live batting practice on Sunday and should be good to go. In 56 innings this season, Fried allowed 42 hits, 14 earned runs and two homers, while walking 19 and striking out 50.
On offense, the Braves will be led by Freddie Freeman, the NL Player of the Month for September. Freeman finished the regular season with a .341 batting average, 13 homers and 53 RBIs. He has hits in five of the last six games and, against Miami on Sept. 22, Freeman was 3-for-5 with three runs scored, a double, one home run and two RBIs. In 54 career games against the Reds, he is batting .294 with 15 doubles, one triple, 10 homers and 32 RBIs.
Why you should back the Reds
Cincinnati will start right-hander Trevor Bauer (5-4, 1.73 ERA). Bauer, who made 11 starts in 2020, pitched in 73 innings, allowing just 41 hits, 14 earned runs and 17 walks, while striking out 100 and had a WHIP of 0.79. In four career starts against Atlanta, Bauer has a 3.86 ERA, allowing 20 hits, nine earned runs and 11 walks, while striking out 22 in 21 innings. Bauer has started 195 games in his career, compiling a 3.90 ERA and 1.26 WHIP.
Offensively, the Reds have struggled for much of the season and are 30th in team batting average at .212. A bright spot on offense, however, has been the recent hitting of left fielder Shogo Akiyama (.245), who has three multi-hit games over the past nine, and hits in 12 of the past 16. In the weekend series against the Minnesota Twins, he went 4-for-10 with a double and an RBI and stole a base.
How to make Braves vs. Reds picks
SportsLine's model is leaning over on the total, as the simulation says the relief corps from both teams will combine to allow three runs in five-plus combined innings, and it also says one side of the money line has all the value. Head to SportsLine now to see the pick.
So who wins Reds vs. Braves? And which side of the money line has all the value? Visit SportsLine now to see which side to jump on, all from the advanced model that returned over $1,400 on MLB picks last year.