Cardinals Have the Edge Over Reds in St. Louis Today

Jeff Grant

Monday, August 18, 2014 12:42 PM GMT

The Cincinnati Reds have really struggled since the All-Star break, which provides the St. Louis a major edge in the early going in Monday night’s series opener.

Disappointing Results
Cincinnati let two games get away from it in getting swept in a doubleheader by the Colorado Rockies Sunday, as the pitching staff allowed 20 runs in the process, with the 'over' cashing in each contest.

The Reds are a forgettable 10-19 since the 2014 Midsummer Classic, which can’t be ignored when making your MLB betting picks, as the offense ranked last in the league in runs, hits and on-base percentage entering yesterday’s action.

Over the last two-plus seasons, the franchise is 11-22 as road underdogs of +125 to +150 on MLB betting odds, with the 'over' going 17-15-1 in that situation.

 

A Great Situation
St. Louis has captured four of its last five games, including a 7-6 victory over the San Diego Padres as -193 home favorites to open the week, while going over the betting total for a second consecutive affair.

The Cardinals have won six of nine meetings against the Reds during the 2014 campaign, which is important to consider when looking over the MLB betting lines, especially since they’ve proven victorious in 12 of their last 13 home series in the rivalry.

The club is 27-19 versus National League Central members this year, with the 'over' going 27-17-2 in those 46 opportunities.

 

Leake
Reds starting pitcher Mike Leake (9-11, 3.59 ERA) has dropped back-to-back decisions, including a 5-4 home defeat to the Boston Red Sox last time out—giving up five runs and eight hits over five frames.

The right-hander is 5-5 with a 3.56 ERA in 13 road appearances, as he’s served up 11 home runs in 86 combined innings.

In 11 lifetime starts versus the Cardinals, Leake has compiled a 3-5 record and 3.85 ERA, including a 1-0 mark and 3.14 ERA in two outings at Busch Stadium.

 

Masterson
Justin Masterson (6-7, 5.58 ERA) will be making his fourth start for the Cardinals since being acquired by trade with the Cleveland Indians, as he attempts to build off a 5-2 road victory over the Miami Marlins—scattering three hits over seven innings of work.

The right-hander ranks fourth among Major League pitchers with 63 induced double plays since 2012.

In five career efforts versus the Reds, Masterson has garnered a 3-2 record and 2.86 ERA, with all three wins coming in his last three trips to the mound in that situation.

 

Prediction
I’m going to recommend that readers back the Cardinals in the first five innings as one of their MLB predictions, as the Reds will come out incredibly flat after getting swept in the Mile High City and falling two games under .500 for the season.

Free MLB Pick: St. Louis Cardinals First 5 Innings at Bet365

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