On Tuesday evening, the Houston Astros blew a late lead to the Cincinnati Reds and lost the game. Major League Baseball now continues on Wednesday night as the Houston Astros take on the Cincinnati Reds in the third and final game of their series. The game is scheduled for a 8:05 p.m. EST start time and it will be televised nationally on MLB.tv and locally on FOX Sports Southwest. The odds for the game currently have the Reds favored at -165 with the total for the game set at 7.5 runs.
Free Analysis: The Cincinnati Reds are fighting for a playoff spot with an unlikely team — the Pittsburgh Pirates. The Cincinnati Reds have won six straight four times this season, but haven't been able to get to seven games with any of those six streaks. Tonight they will look to finally break through and get to a seventh straight game, sending Homer Bailey to the hill. The Reds are leading the Pirates by 2.5 games overall in the National League Central and can look to lengthen that lead tonight. Bailey has won four straight starts overall and will look to help his team sweep the Astros on the road. Cincinnati has won 57 games compared to just 40 losses this season and sport a 26-22 record on the road this season. Houston, who has essentially traded off every piece left on the team that had any sort of Major League time, is arguably the worst team in Major League Baseball. The Astros are 30 games under the .500 mark so far with a 34-64 record but have actually been decent at home this season, sitting above the .500 mark at 24-23 overall. In other words, they are really, really bad on the road. Like 10-41 bad. Yuck. But, the Stros are at home tonight and turn to Bud Norris on the hill. Norris has allowed current Cincinnati hitters to connect for a .275 average in 60 at bats overall and is 0-2 with a 7.23 ERA in four outings against the Reds. The Astros have lost eight straight games. Cincinnati, which has won six of eight in the season series, hasn't swept a three-game set from the Astros since April 2010.
Free Pick: Hard to go against the Astros in this one, considering they have lost everything the past 10 days. Houston overall is the worst team in the League and even though they've been a decent team overall at home, Norris struggles against the Reds in his starts. Cincinnati needs to continue padding that lead in the NL Central as the Pirates aren't going to go away. Much like we've always preached here on Pregame, money management is incredibly important. The -165 price is a bit steep for any game, but as bad as the Astros have been overall, it might be worth it to lay the juice and take the Reds.
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