MLB Pick: St. Louis Cardinals -112 over Cincinnati Reds

LT Profits Sports Group

Monday, April 8, 2013 4:00 AM GMT

Monday, Apr. 8, 2013 4:00 AM GMT

Jaime Garcia of the Cardinals has some of the nastiest stuff in the league when he is on top of his game, and he looked good his first start. Mat Latos of the Reds is usually a slow starter.

The home team looks to have the edge as a small favorite on Monday afternoon as Mat Latos and the Cincinnati Reds (4-2, 0-0 away) pay a visit to Jaime Garcia and the St. Louis Cardinals (3-3, 0-0 home) at Busch Stadium in St. Louis, MO at 4:15 ET.

The posted money line at 5 Dimes has St. Louis as a small home favorite for this contest at current odds of -112.

This is the home opener for the Cardinals, who began the year with a respectable 3-3 road trip that wrapped up with a 14-3 demolition of the San Francisco Giants on Sunday allowing St. Louis to take two out of three over the weekend in an NLCS rematch from last season.

The Cardinals are hitting the ball well in the early going averaging 6.17 runs per game, and their offense gets another boost on Monday with 2011 World Series hero David Freese making his 2013 debut as he has been activated from the Disabled List after missing the start of the season with an injured tailbone which occurred when diving into the stands during spring training.

Besides the offense, Jaime Garcia is looking to build on a nice first start of the season, and the southpaw has always pitched well vs. the Reds going 8-2 in 11 career starts against them with a nice ratio of 55 strikeouts vs. 23 walks. He last faced Cincinnati last October, allowing only two runs on six hits in 6.2 innings with six strikeouts and just one walk.

Garcia had some shoulder problems early last year, but he finished the year well and he looked good in his 2013 debut at Arizona last week, limiting the Diamondbacks to only one run and two hits in 5.2 innings while picking up the win. He was pulled however because his four strikeouts and four walks resulted in him tossing 97 pitches in those 5.2 frames.

Still, he showed no ill effects from the shoulder injury and as long as that continues to be the case, Garcia can be one of the nastiest left-handers in the National League when he is on top of his game so look for him to continue his mastery of the lefty laden Cincinnati lineup today.

The Reds are playing their first road game after starting the year with a 4-2 home stand, although today’s starter Mat Latos was only decent in his first start, allowing three earned runs on seven hits in 6.2 innings vs. the Los Angeles Angels. Latos has never been a fast starter going 2-8 with a 5.59 ERA in 14 career April starts, and last season was typical as he was 1-2 with a 5.97 ERA in April before going on to finish 14-4 with a 3.48 ERA overall.

Latos did not fare well vs. the Cardinals in 2012 though as they handed him half of his losses. Latos was 1-2 with a bloated 7.84 ERA and 1.65 WHIP in four starts vs. St. Louis last year with the Cardinals batting .313 off of him.

Keeping all of this in mind, look for Garcia and the Cardinals to prevail in their home opener on Monday.

[gameodds]3/224271/19-238-93-92-1096/us[/gameodds]

MLB Pick: Cardinals -112

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