The last MLB game of the 2021 season ended with the Atlanta Braves hoisting a championship trophy and on Thursday the defense of that title begins at home against the Cincinnati Reds.
Cincinnati Reds vs Atlanta Braves (-200, 8.5)
The Braves will give Max Fried the ball to begin the season after he closed the 2021 regular season strong giving up three earned runs or fewer in all of his final 12 starts with opponents hitting .185 off of him and followed that up by throwing six scoreless inning the decisive game six of the World Series.
The Reds counter with Tyler Mahle, who was one the best road pitchers in the MLB in 2021, who in 17 road starts from March through September posted a 1.83 ERA with five home runs allowed and an 8-2 record.
The Reds were 21st in the league last season in runs per game with 4.17 on the road while their 5.53 runs per game at home were third in the MLB and lost their top two qualifying players in batting average in the offseason, Nick Castellanos and Jesse Winker.
The Braves were fourth in the league in ERA after the All-Star Break in 2021 and with most of their bullpen back this season, the Braves on Thursday will look to utilize what helped win the 2021 World Series, great pitching.
The Play: Reds vs Braves Under 8.5
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