Reds Host the Surprising Braves

Atlanta Braves

Braves are Two Games Back of Mets in NL East

The Atlanta Braves and the Cincinnati Reds will on Monday at Great American Ball Park. The Reds are in peril and the Braves have surprised much of the National League.

TV: 6:40 p.m. ET, FS Southeast (Atlanta), FS Ohio (Cincinnati)

PITCHING MATCHUP: Braves RH Mike Foltynewicz (1-1, 2.53 ERA) vs. Reds RH Sal Romano (0-2, 5.75)

Oddsmakers opened the Braves as -122-moneyline favorites versus the Reds, while the game’s total opened at 9. Now Atlanta is -132-moneyline favorites. The total is at 8 Over -120.

These teams are experiencing completely different beginnings to the season. Atlanta opens a four-game series at struggling Cincinnati. The Braves, who were rained out of Sunday’s series finale against the New York Mets. They are off to their best start in four years.

The Reds begin the week with baseball’s worst record at 3-18 after falling Sunday 9-2 at St. Louis.

Reds Pitching has Struggled and Offense is not Great Either

Cincinnati’s bullpen gave up six runs in three innings Sunday. The relievers ERA is 5.30, while Reds starters own a 5.71 ERA. Rookie outfielder Jesse Winker collected a RBI double to raise his average to .283.

He has reached base in each of his past nine games. The Reds are averaging just 2.9 runs per game.

Romano has struggled with his control through four starts. He has walked 11 hitters. That is the same as he has struck out. Romano has given up four “Creatures” in 20 1/3 innings.

The 24-year-old pitched better in his last start Tuesday at Milwaukee. He gave up two runs on four hits with two walks and four strikeouts in five innings. Romano held the Braves to one run on five hits in seven innings in a victory last season. That is his only career appearances against Atlanta.

Cincinnati 1B Joey Votto recorded his 1,604th career hit Sunday. That moved him into second place among major-league players from Canada. Larry Walker sits atop the list at 2,160.

The Reds have scored only seven runs on 27 hits in their past five games. They have no homers, 14 walks and 36 strikeouts.

Braves Have Top Offense in National League

Atlanta entered Sunday leading the NL in runs scored with 111, doubles with 47, batting average at .266, and slugging percentage .427. Their starting rotation has posted a 1.97 ERA in its past 15 games.

Rookie second baseman Ozzie Albies has 16 extra-base hits. He has nine doubles and six homers. Shortstop Dansby Swanson has eight doubles and is hitting .342.

Foltynewicz was scheduled to start Sunday’s rainout. He is a different pitcher this year. He has increased usage of his slider through four starts to 26.3 percent. Compare that to 21.2 percent last season. The 26-year-old has not allowed more than two earned runs in a start.

Folty has struck out seven or more in three of four outings. Foltynewicz  gave up one run on four hits Tuesday against Philadelphia. He 1-0 with a 1.93 ERA in three career starts against the Reds.


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Atlanta at Cincinnati Tuesday, April 24

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