Cincinnati Reds (59-46) at Los Angeles Dodgers (55-48)
The Dodgers just keep on rolling after making veteran, Bronson Arroyo another casuality in a 4-1 victory over Cincinnati yesterday.
L.A. has won 8 out of their last 10, have a 1 ½ game lead over Arizona and look to keep the ball rolling on Sunday against a tough Cincinnati team that will be starting left hander Tony Cingrani (4-1, 3.18).
The Italian Stallion
No Rocky Balboa’s here, but Cingrani has been pitching consistently well while helping the Reds chase down the St.Louis Cardinals in the divisional race.
Cingrani has had 4 really good starts in a row in which he’s kept the Reds in the ball game. In those starts, he’s allowed just 7 earned runs in a total of 23 1/3 innings. One would have to give this youngster the edge against Chris Capuano (3-6, 5.03). The question is can Tony Cingrani silence the Dodger bats on the road and against a team that’s been tearing the cover off of the ball?
The top of the Dodgers order delivered again last night as Skip Schumaker’s 5th inning 2- run blast was the difference in the ball game. In all, the first 4 hitters in the Dodgers lineup were a combined 7 for 15 with 1 HR and 4 RBI. This game will come down to the pitching of Cignani against L.A.’s hot hitting.
The way that Cignani has pitched, the bettor should take Cincinnati, but Los Angeles has been on fire as of late and it’s not time to take our MLB picks against them, especially at almost even odds.
Sunday Night Baseball
St. Louis Cardinals (62-39) at Atlanta Braves (59-45)
The dead of summer is when teams grind it out. The St. Louis Cardinals are one of those teams.
The Cards lost the lead in the division only to gain control again, but have now lost 2 straight games. All said and done, no major harm to the Cardinals’ status in the division as they hold a 1 ½ game lead over Andrew McCutchen and the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Tonight, the Cards have a major opportunity as they face a good pitcher in Kris Medlen (6-10, 3.78) who has lost 3 straight decisions and pitched poorly. Medlen really needs a good outing here for his mental status.
In his last 3 starts, Medlen has allowed 14 earned runs and 24 hits in 14 2/3 innings. He must pitch better than this otherwise the Cardinals will batter him around and embarrass him.
The Cards are coming off of a very uninspiring hitting display in which they only produced 2 hits against starter, Julio Teheran. This is an opportunity to pick up the pieces. They have Shelby Miller (10-6, 2.77) starting and quite capable bats in the starting lineup.
The Portland Trail Blazers of MLB?
St. Louis is quite similar to the Blazers in that their starting 5 or top 5 hitters in the lineup are 2nd to none. Even David Freese, who’s in the 6th spot, is a quite capable hitter. One poor game against Teheran means nothing.
Medlen will have a tough time breaking his losing streaks, facing the likes of Carpenter (.321), Beltran (.295, 19 HR, 55 RBI), Holiday (13 HR, 47 RBI), Craig (.329), and Molina (.332). This is a very intimidating group of hitters and Kris Medlen should find out first hand why the Cardinals are the division leaders.
Unlike Portland, the Cardinals win games more than they lose them.
Pick- St. Louis -112 Bet 365 (Love these betting odds with Miller starting; this is a gift)
Good luck, everyone!