Reds vs. Brewers prediction and odds for Wednesday, July 26 (Back Cincy as dog)

The Brewers are a half-game ahead of the Reds in the NL Central heading into the final meeting of the season between the two, who will leave as the division leader?

Jul 23, 2023; Cincinnati, Ohio, USA; Cincinnati Reds third baseman Elly De La Cruz (44) and center
Jul 23, 2023; Cincinnati, Ohio, USA; Cincinnati Reds third baseman Elly De La Cruz (44) and center / David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports

The early week series between the Cincinnati Reds and Milwaukee Brewers has been hotly contested with Milwaukee walking it off on Monday and Cincinnati holding off the home team in the ninth inning on Tuesday.

Wednesday's rubber match presents an opportunity for the Reds to take back first place in the division, or for the Brewers to move a game-and-a-half ahead of the upstart division foe. Ben Lively gets the ball for the Reds while the Brewers counter with Freddy Peralta.

Here are the odds for the series finale:

Reds vs. Brewers odds, run line and total

Reds vs. Brewers prediction and pick

Lively has been decent in his first season with Cincinnati, allowing soft contact and limiting his walk rate. He has a 3.88 ERA with only about two walks per nine innings. Lively will face a Brewers offense that is far less dangerous than the Reds' lineup at the plate.

Milwaukee is bottom five in OPS this season and while Lively has some looming regression coming his way, his Fielding Independent Pitching (FIP) is nearly one run higher at 4.86, I don't believe the Brewers can take advantage.

Meanwhile, Peralta will struggle to hold up against the Reds top 10 offense that has power littered all over the lineup.

The power pitching Peralta strikes out more than 10 batters per nine innings but he also has walked nearly four batters per nine innings. With too many free bases given out, Milwaukee will be playing catch up on Wednesday.

I'll trust the better offense on Wednesday afternoon.

Game odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.