MLB picks: Brewers vs. Reds, Athletics vs. Dodgers (Sept. 23)
The Milwaukee Brewers and Cincinnati Reds, two teams fighting for a playoff berth, face off at Great American Ball Park on Wednesday night. We’ll handicap that affair, as well as an intriguing matchup between the Oakland Athletics and Los Angeles Dodgers.
Milwaukee Brewers (27-27) vs. Cincinnati Reds (28-28), 6:40 p.m. ET
Wed, September 23 2020, 10:40 PM
CIN Reds[T. Bauer]
MIL Brewers[A. Houser]
Trevor Bauer (4-4, 1.80 ERA), looking to put the finishing touches on a potential Cy Young campaign, gives the Reds a tremendous advantage in the starting pitching department against the Brewers on Wednesday night.
Bauer enters this game third in WHIP (0.815) and tied for fourth for the major-league lead in strikeouts (88). He’s been perplexing opponents all year long, and Milwaukee has not been immune. In two starts against the Brewers in 2020, Bauer has held their lineup to a .217 batting average while recording 20 strikeouts over 12 1/3 innings.
Countering for Milwaukee is Adrian Houser (1-5, 5.33 ERA), whom 2020 has not been kind to. His September ERA (four starts) is a ghastly 7.13. When he last faced Cincinnati (Aug. 27), Houser served up four runs on nine hits in just four innings of work. Right fielder Nick Castellanos took him deep that night and has already homered once in this series, so look for him to drive the Reds’ offense in this one.
Oakland Athletics (33-21) vs. Los Angeles Dodgers (39-16), 9:40 p.m. ET
Thu, September 24 2020, 1:40 AM
LA Dodgers[J. Urias]
OAK Athletics[S. Manaea]
Sean Manaea (4-3, 4.50 ERA) has halved his ERA from its ugly peak of 9.00 over his last six starts, but he faces perhaps the best lineup in the majors as he and the A’s visit Dodger Stadium on Wednesday night.
The Dodgers are 7-2 over their last nine games, plating at least six runs in each of their victories. Mookie Betts has unsurprisingly been at the forefront of L.A.’s attack, going 12-for-37 (.324) in the last eight games he’s played with a pair of homers and six RBI. His bat could be instrumental in beating Oakland, as he’s 6-for-14 all-time against Manaea with two homers and five RBIs. Not helping the A’s cause is the fact that their bullpen has looked vulnerable over the last seven days, producing a 4.96 ERA, 24th in the majors.
Julio Urias (3-0, 3.49 ERA) counters for the Dodgers, and his September splits are solid – he’s 1-0 through four starts with a 3.27 ERA and a 0.955 WHIP. He’s never faced a single batter in this Oakland lineup, which gives him a tremendous advantage on the mound, especially the first time through the order. L.A.’s bullpen has seen plenty of work over the last seven days (27 innings pitched) but has held together well, producing a 3.33 ERA in that span.