Series Dominance Makes Cardinals -1.5 The MLB Pick Over Cold Reds

Drew Martin

Friday, April 15, 2016 8:49 PM GMT

The overwhelming metrics in this matchup combined with the tough spot for the young Reds starter returning home make this an optimal time to bet on the Cardinals runline at plus money on the MLB odds board.

YTD Record 3-3

Reds vs. Cardinals
The St, Louis Cardinals welcome the Cincinnati Reds to Bush Stadium for game one of a three game series. The Cardinals and Reds come into the opener both sitting at 5-4 second in the National League Central, but on much different trajectories, the Reds have dropped their last three games while the Cardinals have won five of their last six. To make matters worse, the slumping Reds rookie pitcher Tim Melville makes his second ever MLB start due to the influx of injuries to the Reds starting rotation.

Melville will need to be more efficient to keep from experiencing another brief outing, only lasting four innings in his first start throwing over 90 pitches. He was able to avoid disaster though multiple situations with runners on base in his first outing. His ERA shows a respectable 2.25, but his peripheral numbers are much more concerning, his WHIP was the same as his ERA, which is a huge red flag. His FIP was just short of seven, he gave up five hits and four walks and only recording 12 outs. Melville was playing with fire, in fact a Pittsburg Pirate reached third base in every inning the 26 year old was on the hill, it is amazing he only let one run cross home plate.

The metrics are awful scary for the Reds starter tonight, but possibly even more frightening the Wentzville Missouri native will be pitching in the city he grew up attending Cardinals games. He was raised in a suburb of St. Louis and is returning home for the first time in his brief major league career. Melville said, "I have a lot of friends that are Cardinals fans hitting me up for tickets". He also inferred to a lot of people wanting to see him when he is in town. There is a lot going on in the head of this rookie pitcher making only his second start in the show. This is especially concerning for Melville who admitted to being nervous for his first big-league start. It certainly raised an eyebrow for Cincinnati Reds manager Bryan Price who said, “I saw it in his warmups because his velocity was way down. He bounced a few. I get it, man. When you get that uptight, the last thing you can do is feel the ball in your hand.”

The Reds are heading to St. Louis after enduring a three-game sweep at Wrigley Field by the Chicago Cubs, getting outscored 22-6. The Reds shortstop and top hitter to this point in the season Zack Cozart did not start the last two games because of tightness in his right quadriceps, reports are that he will attempt to give it a go tonight. The struggling Reds will face Carlos Martinez who was 3-0 with a 1.80 ERA in his four starts last April, beginning with two against Cincinnati, and went 1-0 with a 2.12 ERA in three matchups with the Reds in 2015. He gave up one run in six innings in his only appearance in Busch, a 5-2 victory April 18. The 24 year old Dominican can light up the radar gun and he pitched very well in his first start this year giving up two runs in six innings to the Braves on April 9th.

Betting Analysis
The Cardinals have won 18 of their past 23 home games against Cincinnati and went 7-2 there in last season's series. The Cards lineup is hot right now posting MLB’s highest team OPS over the last 7 days just short of 1000, sitting at .982. The overwhelming metrics in this matchup combined with the tough spot for the young Reds starter returning home make this an optimal time to bet on the Cardinals runline at plus money MLB odds with your MLB picks.  

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MLB Pick: Cardinals -1.5 (+108)
Best Line Offered: at BetOnline