How might we turn a little profit with our MLB picks in this series?
Saturday's Game Two
By: Ron Patrick
Cincy got this series to even with a 4-2 victory Saturday, as Mat Latos moved to 6-0 and Aroldis Chapman earned his 16th save.
The Reds won as -150 favorites on Saturday's MLB betting odds, and the game played UNDER its total of 8.5.
So the Cardinals lead Cincy by three games in the NL Central going into Sunday night's series rubber match (8 pm ET, ESPN).
Sunday's Betting Lines
As of Sunday morning most baseball books were chalking St. Louis and Lance Lynn at around -110 over Cincinnati and Bronson Arroyo, with an OVER/UNDER of 8.5.
Sunday's Pitching Match-Up
Arroyo (6-5, 3.38), by our strict standards, is 6/12 on quality starts this season. Ten days ago he got clipped for five runs in less than six innings by the Indians, but he rebounded last time out to throw eight scoreless innings against the Rockies.
On the season Arroyo has allowed 75 hits in 80 innings, walked just 13 and struck out 44.
Arroyo is 0-2 against St. Louis already this season, giving up six ER in 13 innings.
Lynn (8-1, 2.76) is 9/12 on quality starts this season, and running on a string of three in a row. Last time out he held Arizona to one run through seven innings, and over his last three starts he's allowed just three ER through 20 innings.
For the season Lynn has given up just 56 hits in 75 innings, walked 26 and struck out 76. It's easy to see why St. Louis is 9-3 in Lynn's starts.
Lynn is already 2-0 against the Reds this year, holding them to one run and nine hits through 13 innings, walking three while whiffing 15.
Our Take on Sunday's Game
Pick: Take St. Louis at the -105 offered at MatchBook.
Saturday's Game Two
By: Ron Patrick
St. Louis grabbed the first game of this NL Central showdown series Friday night 9-2, banging out 16 hits, including seven doubles, to back up another quality outing from Adam Wainwright.
The Cardinals, who have now scored at least six runs in six of their last eight games, took our cash as -130 favorites on Friday's MLB betting line, and the game played OVER its total of eight.
So, St. Louis now leads Cincinnati by four games in the NL Central, heading into the middle game of this series Saturday night (7:15 pm ET, Fox).
Saturday's Betting Odds
As of Saturday morning most books were listing Cincy and Mat Latos at right around -155 over St. Louis and rookie lefty Tyler Lyons, with the total proffered at 8.5 on the MLB odds boards.
Saturday's Pitching Match-Up
Latos (5-0, 2.90) is 7/12 on quality starts this year, and three for his last four. Last time out he held Pittsburgh to one earned run and two hits through six innings, and over his last four starts he's given up eight ER in 27 1/3 innings.
On the season Latos has allowed fewer hits, 69, than innings pitched, 77 2/3, and owns a 69/22 K/BB ratio.
Cincy is a solid 9-3 in Latos' starts this year.
Latos has already started twice this season against St. Louis, giving up four runs, just one of which was earned, and nine hits through 12 innings; the Reds won both those games.
Last year Latos started four times against the Cardinals; two of those outings went well enough to result in Cincinnati victories, while the other two outings were disastrous. Overall last year Latos tossed 20 2/3 innings vs. St. Louis, giving up 18 ER and 26 hits.
Lyons (2-1, 2.66), a May call-up from Triple-A Memphis, is 2/3 on quality starts so far, and would be 3/3 had his bullpen gotten a couple of outs in his last start. In his ML debut a couple weeks ago against San Diego Lyons gave up one run in seven innings, after which he limited Kansas City to one run and two hits through seven innings.
Last time out against San Francisco Lyons left the game having allowed two runs through 6 1/3 innings, but the two runners he left on base later scored.
On the season Lyons has given up 14 hits in 20 1/3 innings, walked four and struck out 12. St. Louis is 2-1 in Lyon's starts.
Last year Lyons, splitting time between AA and AAA ball, went 9-13 with a 4.13 ERA, compiling a 143/37 K/BB ratio. This Spring at Memphis Lyons was 2-1 with a 4.47 ERA.
Our Take on Saturday's Game
St. Louis is the best team in baseball at the moment; we're kicking ourselves for going against them Friday night. For Saturday, while Latos has been very good this season, we give his mound opponent, Lyons, a chance against Cincy hitters because they haven't seen him yet. And Reds hitters haven't exactly been bombing the ball around anyway, scoring a total of 19 runs over their last six games. So we'll go with the Cardinals with the underdog price for our free MLB pick for Saturday.Pick: Take St. Louis at the +147 offered at Bet 365
Friday's Series Opener
By: Ron Patrick
Friday's Cards-Reds Betting Lines
As of Friday morning most baseball betting sites were listing Friday's series opener, which matches St. Louis' Adam Wainwright against Cincy's Mike Leake, at right around a pick 'em, with an OVER/UNDER of eight.
Also, the MLB odds at The Greek was listing the Reds at -120 to win this series, with St. Louis getting +100.
Cards-Reds Series Set-Up
St. Louis just split four games with Arizona at Busch Stadium, winning Thursday's series finale 12-8, getting five homers from five different batters, including starting pitcher Shelby Miller. The Cardinals now haven't lost a series since dropping two of three games to Pittsburgh back in late April.
The Cards have also been swinging the bats pretty good, scoring at least six runs in five of their last seven games.
Cincy, meanwhile, just lost two of three games at home to Colorado, dropping Wednesday's series rubber match 12-4. The Reds scored four runs in the first inning Wednesday, then didn't score again.
In fact, Cincy has been held to a total of 26 runs in going 3-5 over its last eight games.
So heading into this series St. Louis, at a ML-best 39-21, leads the NL Central by three games over 36-24 Cincinnati.
This is the third meeting between these two teams this season.; previously, the Cardinals have taken two of three games in two series, both played in St. Louis.
Friday's Pitching Match-Up
Leake (5-2, 2.75), by our tough standards, is 6/11 on quality starts this year, and running on a streak of four in a row. Last time out he threw six scoreless innings vs. Pittsburgh, and over his last four starts he's allowed just one ER through 27 innings.
For the season Leake has allowed 74 hits in 68 2/3 innings, walked 16 and struck out 50. Cincy is 7-4 in Leake's starts.
Last year Leake started three times against the Cardinals, giving up seven ER and 24 hits in 18 2/3 innings; the Reds won two of those three games.
Wainwright (8-3, 2.33) is 9/12 on quality starts this season, and working on a string of three in a row. Last time out the big righty held the Giants to one run through nine innings, walking none while whiffing 10. And over his last three starts he's allowed just five ER through 24 1/3 innings.
On the season Wainwright has allowed 84 hits, including just two homers, through 89 innings, walked just six – yes, just six bases on balls – and struck out 84.
So it's easy to see why St. Louis is 9-3 in Wainwright's starts this season.
Wainwright has started once earlier this year against Cincinnati, allowing two runs through seven innings of a 2-1 Cardinals loss back in April. Last year Wainwright started three times against the Reds, giving up eight ER and 18 hits through 17 innings; St. Louis lost two of those games.
In the bullpen match-up for this series Cincy ranks 13th in the Majors with a 3.55 ERA and is 18/25 on save opportunities, while St. Louis ranks 28th with a 4.57 ERA and is 20/30 on save opps.
Cards-Reds Betting Trends
St. Louis is a ML-best 20-9 on the road this season, while Cincy is 21-9 at home.
These two teams are a combined 64-52 on the OVER/UNDERS this season.
The totals are 18-12 in Reds home games this year.
Cards-Reds Injury Update
Cincy IF Brandon Phillips has missed recent action after getting hit with a pitch on his non-throwing arm, but he is expected to play Friday night.
Our Take on Friday's Game
Both starting pitchers have been great recently, and while St. Louis owns the best offense in baseball, getting Phillips back should help Cincy. And the Reds get the edge in the battle of the bullpens. So we'll go with Cincinnati for our free picks for Friday.Pick: Take the Reds at the +101