We are eager to share our predictions & MLB betting odds analysis for tonight's series opener between the St. Louis Cardinals and the Cincinnati Reds at the Great American Ballpark.
St. Louis Cardinals (Lackey) (-135) vs. Cincinnati Reds (Marquis) 7:10 ET
St. Louis was clearly dominant against Cincinnati last year, winning 5 of the 6 series and posting a 12-7 SU record for the season. They are favorites in tonight's MLB Odds. The Cardinals will be hungry with a day of rest, following a 2-0 shutout at the hands of the Cubs. Meanwhile, the Reds may be a bit fat, following their 3-game sweep of the Pirates.
The Reds struggled at the plate last season, finishing 29th out of the 30 teams in MLB with a .661 OPS. Only San Diego was worse! Injuries to Votto and Bruce were contributing factors. But even if they return to full health, this does not appear to be an offensive powerhouse. Even the addition of Marlon Byrd, the hot hitting of Todd Frazier in the opening 3-game set vs. the Pirates or the thievery of Billy Hamilton (stole 6 bases vs. the Bucs) is enough to convince me that their offense is much improved. After a dismal 76-86 season of last year (compared to 187 wins, the previous 2 years), the Reds will be fortunate to be a winning team this season! Key is a questionable rotation depleted by trades of Latos and Simon and the off-season surgery of Bailey. When you start Jason Marquis, a 36-year old retread who has pitched for 9 teams, as your 4th starter, it is a sure sign of problems. It will be the 1st start for veteran Marquis since July 9th of 2013 when he opted for Tommy John surgery. At his advanced age, there is no guarantee of success.
St. Louis split a pair with the Cubs, scoring a total of only 3 runs at Wrigley. That includes a 2-0 loss on Wednesday. In those 2 contests, the Cards left 17 men on base. The Cards have been a mainstay atop the NL Central, averaging almost 92 wins per year the last 3 seasons. Again, this team appears to be the pride of the division with solid batting, pitching and leadership across the board. Today, they send veteran John Lackey to the hill. The big right hander has shown his consistency with 10 or more wins in each of the last 11 seasons. More specifically, 4 appearances against the Reds have resulted in a 2-0 mark with a 2.49 ERA.
I am always interested in placing MLB picks on St. Louis following a defeat! The Cards are an MLB best L2Y with a record of 95-53, following a loss. Against an opponent they owned last year and with 2 days’ rest, it is an optimum time to face a Cincinnati team who has had a disrupted schedule (due to rain delays in each game) and may be a bit fat following their 3-game sweep of the Pirates by a combined score of 13-8..
MLB Picks: Take St. Louis Cardinals +115 from Bet365