MLB Picks: Cardinals Smoking Bats To Continue Domination Against Struggling Astros

Swinging Johnson

Wednesday, August 17, 2016 3:07 PM UTC

Wednesday, Aug. 17, 2016 3:07 PM UTC

The Cardinals captured the first of a two-game set in Houston yesterday and return this afternoon to sweep the struggling Astros. Let's review the MLB odds and cash a ticket.

Swinger’s MLB Record: 63-37, +24.29 units
It was four winners in a row in our MLB picks until we cast our lot with Justin Verlander and the Detroit Tigers yesterday. As we all know by now, that winning streak has abruptly ended with the 6-1 drubbing at the hands of the Kansas City Royals. Verlander was outdueled by a wide margin against the Royals’ upstart Danny Duffy and that, as they say, is that.

Let’s shake it off and review the MLB odds in this matinee between the Cardinals and Astros. We are still up over 24 units on the season and life is good. Let’s make it better by starting a brand new streak this afternoon.


Cardinals Offense Awakes
You could excuse the Cardinals hitters for being in a bit of a malaise as they played 30 games in 31 days. The offense was stagnating but over the past three games, and getting the day off on Monday, the lineup has been rejuvenated with contributions from the leadoff hitter all the way to the bottom of the order.

After getting stifled by the Cubs’ All-Star pitcher Jake Arrieta in a 13-2 pummeling at Wrigley Field, the St. Louis offense awoke with a monumental thunder. In short order, they have strung together three consecutive wins and pounded out 22 runs over that span. Yesterday, the Redbirds teed off on the Astros’ Dallas Keuchel in an 8-5 series-opening win. Second baseman Jedd Gyorko has been slamming the ball lately, launching 11 of his 18 total dingers since July 18th and did so again yesterday in the Cardinals’ win.


Betting Analysis
St. Louis will send Carlos Martinez (10-7, 3.34, 1.32) to the hill where he will face the Astros for the first time in his career. Martinez has been an innings eater for the Cards this season with 10 starts of seven innings or more and has gone 6-1 with a 1.84 in those situations. Martinez has enjoyed the highway over his career with a 16-7 mark and 2.92 ERA when pitching on the road. In his last outing, he was touched for three runs on seven hits in a 4-3 loss to the Cubs at Wrigley.

The Astros have dropped their last three contests and will try to get well with veteran right-hander Doug Fister (11-7, 3.61, 1.29) who is 1-1 when starting against the Cardinals with an ERA of 4.66 and a WHIP of 1.242. His team's record is 1-2 (-0.7 units) in these starts. Fister was roughed up by the Twins in his last appearance, allowing five runs on eight hits, but got the benefit of an explosive offensive performance by his teammates which led to a 15-7 victory and a win for Fister.

The Cardinals bats’ are white hot and the Astros are struggling. Carlos Martinez has been a beast on the road with a 6-1 mark and sub 2.00 ERA. St. Louis’s Doug Fister got lit up in his last outing and the St. Louis lineup will be no walk in the park this afternoon. In addition, the Cards are 35-23 and plus a whopping 15.9 units on the road. This one appears to be another notch in the win column for St. Louis as they catch Houston struggling over their last three games. Expect St. Louis to come out swinging and sending Fister to the showers early.


Free MLB Pick: Cardinals -103 
Best Line Offered: at Heritage

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