Game: Cincinnati Reds at Milwaukee Brewers
Time: 8:10 p.m. ET
Starting Pitchers: Luis Castillo vs. Brandon Woodruff
Odds: Reds +161, Brewers -171
Looking at records, one wouldn’t think too much of tonight’s pitching matchup in the Reds-Brewers game. However, it could turn out to be very good as Cincinnati’s Luis Castillo goes up against Brandon Woodruff of Milwaukee.
Neither pitcher sports an impressive record. Castillo is 7-12 and Woodruff is 7-7, but Woodruff has been one of the most consistent pitchers in MLB this season and Castillo has been strong since the beginning of June. That should make for an interesting matchup tonight.
Milwaukee continues to have the second-best record in the NL. The Brewers have won 11 of their last 14 games and won the first game in this series last night. Woodruff gives them an excellent opportunity to do the same tonight. He has started 24 games this season and his ERA of 2.48 ranks fifth in the majors.
Woodruff ranks at or near the top of every pitching metric this season and, despite the 7-7 record, still has an outside shot at the NL Cy Young. He would have to finish the season strong and that could very well start with a win over Cincinnati.
He will face a pretty solid Reds lineup. Cincy ranks sixth in OPS and second in ISO over the last two weeks. Jesse Winker (.307, 24HR, 71RBI) ranks sixth in the majors in batting average. His teammate, Nick Castellanos is even better ranking second at .318. He also has 22 homers and 70 RBIs. Woodruff has done well against the Reds this season. In back-to-back starts against Cincy in July, Woodruff pitched 11.2 innings, allowed three earned runs, and struck out 12. Milwaukee won one and lost one.
Castillo started the 2021 season with some struggles that have resulted in his season ERA sitting at 4.35. Since June though, Castillos’ ERA is 2.77 over 16 starts. In those 16 games, he allowed more than three earned runs just once. His last start was a gem. Castillo pitched seven innings and allowed just one earned run picking up a 6-1 win over Miami.
The problem Castillo might have is facing a Milwaukee lineup that is hot at the moment. Over the past two weeks, the Brewers have the best OPS in baseball. To give you an idea of how hot they are, the Brewers OPS in their last three games is .969. That has allowed them to average 7.67 runs over those three games, which were all wins by the way.
The difference in the game could come down to the bullpen. That edge belongs to the Brewers who have the eighth-best bullpen ERA in baseball. The Reds relievers have struggled this season. Cincy ranks 27th in bullpen ERA for the season.
Keep in mind that tonight’s venue, American Family Field, is one of the more pitcher-friendly parks in the majors at night. In 2021, it has been the third-most pitcher-friendly ballpark to play a night game. With two very good starting pitchers and a strong Milwaukee bullpen, the Under could be in play. Oddsmakers have set tonight’s total at 7.5.