Reds Fans Welcome Bronson Arroyo Back in Cardinals Clash

Jay Pryce

Saturday, April 8, 2017 2:57 PM UTC

Saturday, Apr. 8, 2017 2:57 PM UTC

Bronson Arroyo is on the hill for the first time in nearly three years, and against a familiar foe, as the Reds and Cardinals tussle in St. Louis Saturday afternoon (2:15 p.m. ET). Read on for a betting preview and pick.

Cincinnati Reds (3-1)

The Reds took the first of a three-game series at St. Louis behind a masterful MLB debut from starter Amir Garrett on Friday. The southpaw tossed six shutout innings and didn’t allow a runner to reach second base. Cincy has now won five of its last six series openers against the Cardinals.

Bronson Arroyo takes the pill for manager Bryan Price on Saturday. Its Arroyo’s first start since 2014 after Tommy John and shoulder surgeries sidelined him for a couple of seasons. He’s throwing pain-free and ready to go according to the front office.

The 6-foot-4 right-hander has more appearances against the Cardinals than any other team. Arroyo is 8-17 with a 4.69 ERA in 37-lifetime starts. Cincy is 0-6 in his last half-dozen outings in the series.

The sinkerballer owns the current Cardinals roster, holding them to .197 batting average and .570 OPS. Yadier Molina, Matt Carpenter, Jhonny Peralta and Dexter Fowler are a combined 22-for-110. Matt Adams has the best success, though in limited appearances. He’s 2-for-5, each hit a 2-run homer.

Speedster Billy Hamilton has terrorized St. Louis catcher Molina on the base pads. The center fielder is 24-for-26 in stolen bases. No player in the bigs owns more against the Cooperstown-bound backstop. When Hamilton scores in the matchup, the Reds are 11-5 SU as opposed to 11-21 SU when failing to cross home plate.


St. Louis Cardinals (1-3)

The Cardinals’ offense is non-existent to open the year. Look at any hitting stat ranking in MLB, and they’ll be buried near the bottom. St. Louis is averaging just 2.25 runs per game, and is dead last in the league in total bases (7.75), home runs (0.25) and extra base hit percentage (3.4).

Pitching, like always, is strong in St. Louis. Michael Wacha gets the nod for skipper Mike Matheny. Wacha has more wins against Cincinnati than any other team, going 6-1 with a 3.07 ERA in 12 starts. The Cardinals, in fact, have beaten the Reds in Wacha’s last eight outings. The staff yields a lowly 2.38 runs per game in this span, holding Cincy to four runs or fewer in every contest.

Wacha is good at getting out of trouble when up against the Reds. The current roster hits him well, batting .306 with a .769 OPS altogether. Joey Votto (11-for-29), Zack Cozart (11-for-23), Scooter Gennett (7-for-19), Eugenio Suarez (6-for-15) and Tucker Barnhart (3-for-10) are each hitting .300 or better. Where Wacha excels is limiting home runs. Votto owns the only long ball in 159 overall plate appearances.


Final Analysis

The Cardinals have given Wacha a lot of run support historically. In the last calendar year, they average 5.26 runs per game in his starts. Maybe his presence is needed to jump-start the ailing lineup. Arroyo pitches well against St. Louis, but he will likely be on a strict pitch count out of the game for so long. The Reds burned up their best relievers in last night’s win and will be forced to the pen early in this one. Look for St. Louis to finally score some runs. The odds are very steep, so consider parlaying with a game of your choice.


Free MLB Pick: Cardinals -176Best Line Offered: at BetOnline

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