Their 3-game series in St. Louis all even at a game apiece, the Reds and Cardinals decide matters Wednesday when the home team is once again a decided favorite on the MLB odds.
Mike Leake's right arm and Joey Votto's bat were all the Cincinnati Reds needed Tuesday to level their series with the St. Louis Cardinals. Cincinnati's 4-0 whitewashing of the Cardinals was accomplished in short time, and brings the rivals to deciding third game in the set tonight.
John Lackey delivers the game's first pitch at 8:15 PM (ET), and we're seeing similar MLB odds as we saw in Game 2, BetOnline currently listing St. Louis at -163. Anthony DeSclafani counters on the mound for Cincinnati, a 7½ run total favoring the high side.
Redbirds 9-2 Behind Lackey At Home
DeSclafani's ERA has risen a half-run his last six starts, the Reds winning just two of them though both dubyas did come on the road where he owns a 2.67 ERA in 10 starts compared to 5.69 at Great American Ball Park. The former University of Florida standout pitched pretty well last Friday at Coors Field, allowing three runs in seven frames before leaving with the game knotted, 3-3, but the Cincinnati bullpen couldn't bring the Reds home with a win as the Rockies prevailed by a 6-5 count.
The 2nd-year player managed to miss the Cardinals in the two previous encounters, and only saw them once a year ago while pitching out of the Miami 'pen. DeSclafani tossed a perfect inning of relief in that game, striking out one.
Lackey has been money since mid-June, the Cardinals winning six of his eight assignments in that span while the veteran chopped almost a full run off his ERA. The 6'-6" Texan has been money at Busch Stadium as well, pitching to a 1.97 ERA and helping the Cardinals to nine wins in 11 tries, good enough to add more than six units to the pockets of baseball bettors. The Reds got to him earlier this year, Lackey taking a no-decision in a 5-4 Cardinals road loss after they won two of his tries against Cincinnati last season.
Umpire Notes, Mother Nature & A Free Pick
The umpires pulled a fast one on us by bringing in Dan Iassogna to work the plate last night. Assuming they don't switch things up again, Mike Muchlinski should close out the series calling balls and strikes, and brings an 8-9 O/U record into the contest. It's his second game this year behind the plate in St. Louis, the first a 2-1 victory for the Cards over the Bucs that stayed 'under' the total, his previous three appearances under the mask at Busch Stadium going 'over' with the Redbirds 1-2 in those matches. Visiting teams have won 10 of his 17 plate assignments this year, though home chalk is 7-6.
We once again have a strong chance for a passing t-storm in the afternoon, but the skies should clear for the most part by game time with temps in the mid-80s and a north breeze blowing in from left. My free MLB pick will be a run line play on St. Louis.
MLB Pick: Cardinals -1½ (+136 at Pinnacle)