Believe it or not, the Reds have a chance to earn a four-game sweep of the Cardinals this afternoon at home. Will they do so as the MLB odds-on underdogs?
Even though the Reds have been on a roll and will be sending out Raisel Iglesias, who's been quite dominant in recent starts, it's the Cardinals that are the favorites on the MLB odds board. They're listed in the -130 to -140 to pick up the victory and therefore avoid the sweep.
If you think Cincinnati is in another good spot for a win today, you can find a price of +125 or so on their heads. Meanwhile, the O/U is trading at 7.5 runs, with Igelsias toeing the rubber for the Reds and Michael Wacha getting the call for the Cardinals.
Cincinnati Reds (Iglesias)
The Reds are feeling good right now, having won three in a row and five of their last seven games overall. They're 60-81 overall on the season and are obviously out of the running for the playoffs, meaning they've been a tough team to back with confidence here down the stretch, regardless of their recent play.
This afternoon we'll have right-hander Raisel Iglesias taking the bump. He's 3-7 with a 4.18 ERA and 1.14 WHIP on the year, but has been performing a lot better than those numbers may indicate. He owns a 3.38 ERA over 10 starts in the second half of the season and has tossed some serious gems in that stretch.
Iglesias is 2-2 with a 3.60 ERA at home in 2015, but hasn't been at his best versus the Cardinals, allowing 11 hits and seven runs over 11 innings in two meetings. He'll be looking to fare better the third time around this afternoon.
St. Louis Cardinals (Wacha)
What a rough series it's been for the Cardinals so far. They've lost all three games to the Reds and as a result find themselves only 2.5 games up on the Pirates for first place in the NL Central.
We're getting down to the wire now, and St. Louis needs each and every win they can get in order to preserve their spot at the top. That means a quality outing from Michael Wacha would go a long way. He's been terrific on the road this season, going 9-2 with a 2.90 ERA over 14 assignments, so that certainly bodes well.
What's more, Wacha has been downright dominant against Cincinnati, posting a 3-0 record and 0.89 ERA over 20 and 1/3 innings. It's hard to get much better than that, with the Reds hitting just .189 against him in 2015.
MLB Pick Analysis
While Wacha may not be pitching at his best right now, we feel he'll be able to right the ship and hurl a quality outing against the Reds. As we mentioned, he's been a stud on the road, and he's totally dominated Cincinnati in every meeting thus far this season.
That's one side of the equation. What about Iglesias? You could tell this kid had loads of talent, but just hadn't put it all together yet. Well, we've seen him at his best over the last couple of months, except for his most recent outing of course.
Plus, we've already gotten a chance to see both of the starting lineups, and neither look all that imposing, suggesting that the two starting pitchers should be able to more than hold their own. With that in mind, we're going to jump on the chance to take the UNDER with Sunday's MLB pick, particularly since we don't see an edge in backing either team on the moneyline. Let's put our confidence in the two right-handers on Sunday.
MLB Pick: UNDER 7.5 at 5Dimes