Both clubs are in the playoff race as they start a three-game series at AT&T Park in front of a ESPN2 audience.
Cincinnati Reds at San Francisco Giants
Cincinnati currently leads the NL Central division by 3 1/2 games with six weeks to go, as the team starts a three-game series against the Giants. The Reds captured a 5-2 victory over the Dodgers on Sunday afternoon giving the team its eighth win in nine games and guaranteed a winning nine-game West coast road trip. “You can’t help but notice we haven’t done much winning in Los Angeles,” first baseman Joey Votto said. “For us to be the team that finally breaks that streak and gets a winning series on the road, it’s a good thing.” The pitching staff has been fantastic since June 17, posting a 3.15 ERA, which is the third-best mark in the majors over that span. Offensively, the club leads the NL with a .272 average and scoring 4.96 runs per game. The Reds are 15-5 in August (+1,020) and 10-4 as a road underdog of +100 to +125 this season (+760).
The Braves picked up a dramatic victory in the opening game of this series and now turn to one of their best pitchers in Game 2.
Atlanta Braves at Chicago Cubs
Atlanta picked up a 5-3 victory over the Chicago Cubs to open this three-game set at Wrigley Field on Friday afternoon. Braves outfielder Rick Ankiel cleared the bases with a two-out triple in the ninth inning in order for the club to move 22 games over .500 on the year. “It’s like there’s something in the water around here,” Ankiel said. “It’s fun. It’s like no matter what, we’re never out of it. It’s fun to be a part of it.” The win also gave the club its 37th comeback victory of the season, which leads all of baseball. Atlanta is 23-16 in day games this season (+450) and 70-66 over the last three years (-320). The club is also just a game over .500 versus southpaws (22-21, -490) and the total is 20-21 O/U in those contests.
The Cubs will be facing off against a former teammate this afternoon in the first game of a three-game set at Wrigley Field.
Atlanta Braves at Chicago Cubs
Atlanta starts this three-game series with a new first baseman in the fold, as Derek Lee joins the team and will face his former ball club out of the gate. Lee spent seven seasons in Chicago and hit .298 with 179 home runs and 574 RBI over that span. “The main thing is we’ve got six weeks to go and Atlanta’s in first place,” he said. “They’re playing great baseball. A chance to go to the postseason, it’s hard to pass up.” The Braves went 5-2 on its last homestand and now head off on a six game road trip. Atlanta is 27-33 on the road this season (-800) and the total stands at 29-28 O/U in those contests. The team is also 10-9 as a road favorite of -125 to -150 (-180) in 2010 and 22-22 in this situation the last three years (-760).
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