MLB Odds Preview: Cincy vs. Atlanta in Battle of First Place Teams 7/30

The Dog Days of summer are here and that means the division races in the MLB odds action are almost as hot as the weather.

And while the mercury touches record highs around the land, the MLB lines action won’t get any hotter than Friday July 30th when the Cincinnati Reds host the Atlanta Braves.

What makes this such an intriguing matchup is the fact that both of these teams are currently in first place in their respective divisions, after having been given no shot whatsoever in the preseason of reaching the post season.

But four months and 115 wins later the Braves and Reds have proven to be two of the best teams in the NL and if things go according to plan, they could meet again in the MLB odds playoffs action. However, if fans can’t wait that long they’ll get a possible sneak preview as the Reds (57-46) hosts the Braves (58-42).

Cincy has been one of the biggest surprises of the year and has been carried to the top of the division (tied with St Louis, 56-45, in the NL Central) by solid starting pitching and an explosion of power at the plate. Slugger Joey Votto (3.22, 26 HR, 70 RBIs) came from out of nowhere to lead this lineup and emerge as one of the leading MVP candidates.

Atlanta has had a similar resurgence and has shot past division favorites like the Phils and Mets and dominate the NL East. Led by a superb starting rotation this team has finally come alive at the plate this season, something that has been missing the past few MLB odds seasons.

On Friday the Braves will Kris Medlen a player, who like his team, has been an unexpected success in the MLB lines action, with a 6-2 record and an ominous 3.57 ERA. He’ll have his work cut out for him not only because he’s facing a dangerous Votto and Co. but because he’ll be pitching against one of the Reds’ studs.

Cincy starter Johnny Cueto has been on fire the past few months after a rocky start. In his past 8 starts he’s given up just five runs, holding the opposition scoreless in four of those outings and he hasn’t’ lost a game since June 18th. The Braves are a fine team but you have to like the Reds’ chances behind Cueto’s arm and playing at home.