Miami Marlins at Cincinnati Reds 8/22/21 - MLB Picks & Predictions

By: Lance |

Last Updated: 08/21/2021 at 10:45 PM ET

The Miami Marlins will close out a four-game series with the Cincinnati Reds at Great American Ball Park. Cincinnati has won the opening three games, covering the runline in all three, and improving to 68-57 on the season and passed the Padres for the second wild-card spot in the National League. Miami is last in the NL East, the weakest division in the MLB, and have a virtually zero chance of making the playoffs.

Cincinnati has been a potent offense to this point in the season hitting .252 as a team, ranking fifth in the MLB, and are fifth in scoring offense averaging 5.06 runs per contest. Nick Castellanos is having another productive season as he approaches 30-years-old, he’s hitting .320 which ranks third in the MLB, and after four RBIs in the win in game three has reached 70 on the season which is second on the team. Joey Votto leads the team with 28 home runs and has driven in a team-high 81 runs as the power hitting first baseman has a late resurgence.

The right-handed Vladimir Gutierrez will start for the Reds, he’s had limited action in his rookie campaign but has been productive with a 8-4 record and 3.87 ERA. Gutierrez is coming off an excellent performance against the Cubs, he pitched six solid innings allowing two runs on nine hits, striking out seven but the Reds offense struggled and lost 2-1 to the Cubs.

The Marlins offense has had their struggles this season, and after a surprise trip to the playoff last season, will not be in the mix in the final month of the year. Miami is hitting .237 as a team, 22nd in the MLB, and are 26th in the league in scoring offense averaging just over four runs per game. First baseman Jesus Aguiliar has led the Marlins with 22 home runs and 87 RBIs, he’s hitting .265 on the season.

Sandy Alcantara will get the start for the Marlins, despite being just 25-years-old, is one of the best young pitchers in baseball. Alcantara is 7-11 with a 3.39 ERA on the year (18th in MLB among eligible pitchers) and is coming off a dominant start against the Braves, throwing eight innings allowing a run on five hits and striking out seven while issuing just a single walk.  

With Miami looking to avoid being swept, and sending out the best arm in their rotation with Alcantara, I like the Marlins as an underdog to pick up this win. Even with their recent struggles, and facing off against a good Reds team, Alcantara has been consistent and very solid this season. Vladimir Gurierrez has also been solid as a young pitcher, but I’m riding with the better arm getting juice, even on the road. Final score prediction, Cincinnati Reds win 5-4.

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