Betting Trends are Your Best Friends Tonight at Busch Stadium

Mark Lathrop

Wednesday, August 19, 2015 12:34 PM GMT

Wednesday, Aug. 19, 2015 12:34 PM GMT

Many trends are coming in on one side tonight in St. Louis. Our MLB handicapper analyzes the matchup to decide if you should be a contrarian or follow the masses with his Wednesday MLB Pick.

We have another apparent lopsided pitching matchup tonight, as the St. Louis Cardinals host the San Francisco Giants in the rubber game of their three game series. The first two contests have been low scoring affairs, with both teams combining for 5 total runs Monday and Tuesday night. I haven’t covered the Cardinals in a while and oh my they’ve already won 76 games. Pretty much a lock for the playoffs already, the Cardinals have been awesome at home, posting a 45-18 record. Compare this to the ‘meh’ performance of the Giants on the road at 29-30. Even without the pitching matchup being a mismatch on paper, this home-away split is reason enough for the Cardinals to be favored in this game, and favored they are at -157 on the money line at Pinnacle. The O/U total is also listed at 7 at multiple books.

Taking the mound as the underdog is veteran Giants pitcher, Matt Cain. Cain has been unable to find his form since returning from the DL in the beginning of July. This is evident in his stats to date through 41.2 IP, a 6.05 ERA, 1.58 WHIP, 29/14 K/BB rate, and .310 BAA. These numbers are by far the worst that Cain has posted in his career so I will give him the benefit of the doubt that he is not back to complete health. However, advanced stats such as HR% and Hard Hit% indicate that these issues have really been a problem since last year. Cain’s career numbers against St. Louis mimic this year’s struggle, as he has posted a 6.63 ERA, 1.49 WHIP, and .291 WHIP over ten starts against the Cardinals.

A pitcher that hasn’t had a problem returning to form after returning from the DL is Cardinals starter, Jaime Garcia. Inexplicably the owner of a 5-4 record, Garcia has posted a 1.57 ERA, 0.91 WHIP, 52/18 K/BB rate, and .191 BAA since late May. His losses have obviously been the result of poor run support. Garcia has been excellent when on the mound, although he has been on the DL more often than not since 2008. Still, his talent has led the Cardinals to pick up his contract option for the 2016 season. This season, Garcia’s tweaks to delivery and pitches have increased his ground ball rates to a career high 67%. Couple that with good infield defense and a penchant for double plays and you have a recipe for success.

 

The MLB Pick: The St. Louis Cardinals are great at home, but they are also winning against right-handers at a 59-28 clip this season. Unfortunately for Matt Cain, he throws a baseball with the appendage hanging on the right side of his body. Bettors have seen all of the trends that I have which has moved the line all the way to -180 at books such as Bovada. That includes sharp bettors, as there are no contrarian indicators on this game. In fact, my source has the public betting action at one book backing the Cardinals at 96%. There are times to take the ugliest side on the board (see Oakland yesterday vs. Buckholtz), but this isn’t one of them since the Cardinals are at home. That’s why I am shopping for the best line and taking the Cardinals at -171 at Heritage for my Wednesday MLB Pick.

MLB Pick: Cardinals -171 at Heritage

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