Cardinals vs. Reds Wednesday & Thursday Picks

Jeff Grant

Wednesday, April 2, 2014 2:15 PM GMT

The Cincinnati Reds are missing some key contributors in the bullpen to start the season, which will likely be the difference in taking on the St. Louis Cardinals Wednesday. We take a look at both the Wednesday and Thursday matchups to help you decide where to look with your MLB picks.

Let’s take a closer look at the pro baseball odds for this National League Central matchup at the Great American Ball Park, with the first pitch scheduled for 7:10 p.m. ET.

 

A fortunate beginning
St. Louis picked up a 1-0 season-opening victory over Cincinnati as -124 road favorites Monday, as it prepares to play another 14 games before facing anyone outside its own division.

The Cardinals totaled just five hits in the series opener, while their defense committed three uncharacteristic errors.

Since the start of the 2012 campaign, the franchise has compiled a 29-19 record in April, with the UNDER going 27-20 in that situation.

 

Kept at bay
Cincinnati first baseman Joey Votto hasn’t enjoyed much success at the plate in this rivalry in recent games, as he enters 3 for his last 29 against the Cardinals.

The Reds are also hoping that rookie leadoff hitter Billy Hamilton can move past a rough beginning—striking out in all four of his plate appearances Monday afternoon.

MLB handicappers will find that the club is 8-7 after getting blanked the previous two seasons.

 

Wacha
Cardinals starting pitcher Michael Wacha made a name for himself during the 2013 MLB postseason—success that he carried over in posting a 3-0 record and 1.77 ERA in five Spring starts.

The right-hander was 4-1 in the playoffs a year ago, but 3-6 in his regular-season efforts. 

In two career outings against the Reds, Wacha has produced a 1-0 record and surrendered just six hits over 10 shutout innings.

 

Cingrani
Reds starting pitcher Tony Cingrani finished his rookie campaign with a 7-4 record and 2.92 ERA in 23 games (18 starts) a year ago, including a 3-3 mark and 3.02 ERA in 11 home appearances (9 starts).

In three lifetime appearances (two starts) versus the Cardinals, Cingrani has tallied a 2-0 record and 4.09 ERA.

 

Prediction
I’m going to recommend that readers back the Cardinals as one of their pro baseball picks, as I believe their bullpen could be the difference, especially with a 50 percent chance of rain showers forecasted throughout the game. 

Cincinnati has some key relievers on the disabled list, with the most notable being closer Aroldis Chapman. 

Free MLB Pick:  St. Louis -118

[gameodds]3/260806/?r-1=43-19-349/us[/gameodds]

 

Early Look at Thursday’s pitching matchup 

Cardinals scheduled starter Lance Lynn is 3-1 with a 4.03 ERA in nine career outings (six starts) versus the Reds, including an event 1-1 mark and 5.87 ERA in six efforts at this ballpark. 

The Reds will counter with right-hander Homer Bailey, who went 5-3 with a 3.35 ERA in 15 starts at this venue in 2013.

[gameodds]3/260899/?r-1=43-19-349/us[/gameodds]