The Big “Under” Machine?

Once known as “The Big Red Machine” and known for their powerful offense during the 1970s, the Cincinnati Reds have been better known as an “under” machine amongst bettors this year. In fact in 72 Reds games this year the under has hit 47 times (65%). The Milwaukee Brewers, a much better offense has been better, but the under for them has hit 33 out of 73 games (55%).

However, as we all know trends do not always indicate what will happen on a given day. So we’ll break down the matchup between pitcher’s Jhoulys Chacin and Luis Castillo.

Luis Castillo vs. Brewers

It is no secret that Luis Castillo has been excellent this year.  He is 7-1 with a 2.26 ERA, has given up two or fewer runs in 13/15 starts and has a strikeout rate of 29%. I mention this strikeout rate as the Brewers are one of the most strikeout-prone teams in the league with the 5th most strikeouts per game on average:

Brewers K rate.JPG

Milwaukee has also been struggling on offense as of late, ranking only 19th out 30 in terms of runs scored off of right-handed pitchers and are currently in the middle of a five-game losing streak. Considering Castillo’s impressive season, I am not comfortable betting against his strikeout ability and his talent.

Jhoulys Chacin vs. Reds

While I am very confident in Luis Castillo’s abilities, Chacin requires a little more thinking. A pitcher last year who could get groundouts at ease, he has not shown the same ability this year. He has a 5.60 ERA and really struggled the first few months on the season. However, he was dealing with strained lower back and sat out for nearly three weeks and pitched very well against the Padres, 7 strikeouts in 4 2/3 innings pitched and got better as the game went along. Brewers manager Craig Counsel had some positive thoughts about Chacin: Listen Here

What stood out to me the most with his strikeout in this game was the fact all seven were on his slider. Chacin is a pitcher that throws 50% sliders (very high number). Looking at the Reds hitting chart against sliders. 5/8 hitters in their lineup have what Fangraphs would describe as “awful”:



Reds sliders

Our pick: Under 9 total runs @(1.83/-120)

Simply the trends and statistics are hard to overlook in this game. Luis Castillo has been amazing and now faces a struggling Brewers team. Brewers will counter with Jhoulys Chacin, who may have some success with his slider today facing a Reds team that is 25th out of 30 in runs scored off of right-handed pitchers and will likely have to face the Brewers top relief pitchers if the game is close.

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