Cardinals at Reds Picks and MLB Betting Odds
by Alan Matthews - 6/6/2013
The Cincinnati Reds aren't going to overtake the St. Louis Cardinals to win the NL Central without ace Johnny Cueto, and most certainly the Reds aren't going to the World Series for the first time since winning it in 1990. Cueto is one of the National League's best pitchers when healthy, but he hasn't been able to stay that way in 2013. The 27-year-old, who was fourth in the NL in Cy Young voting last year, missed five weeks already this season with a lat/oblique injuries. Well, he was scratched from Wednesday's start and put back on the disabled list with another right shoulder/lat injury. The club is hopeful he will miss only the 15 days this time, but that's what the Reds said last time. Cueto was 2-0 with a 1.80 ERA since returning from the DL and 3-0 with a 2.17 ERA overall this year.
I mention Cueto's injury because this seems like something that could linger at least until the all-star break. Thus, the Reds need the rest of their rotation to step up and keep the first-place Cardinals close. Minor-league fill-in Pedro Villarreal was not good in Wednesday's start for Cueto, allowing 10 hits and six earned runs in 3.2 innings. I would think the Reds would again recall top lefty prospect Tony Cingrani from Triple-A. He was 2-0 with a 3.27 ERA in Cueto's first DL stint.
The Cincinnati pitching staff has been either stellar or shaky in the past eight games. The Reds have won three of them, all by shutout. They have allowed 34 runs in the five losses. Cincinnati enters on a two-game skid, losing a home series to the Rockies.
St. Louis finished off a four-game series on Thursday night at home against Arizona having lost two of the first three games. The trip to Cincinnati begins a nine-game road swing. The Cards won't have any empathy for the Reds' pitching injuries as St. Louis lost Jaime Garcia for the season, and Jake Westbrook remains on the DL. Yet the Cards lead the majors in ERA mainly because they are stacked with stud young pitchers like Shelby Miller, Tyler Lyons and Michael Wacha behind ace Adam Wainwright, who starts Friday's series opener at Great American Ball Park.
Cardinals at Reds Betting Story Lines
Wainwright (8-3, 2.33) is back to being among the NL's best pitchers as he was in 2009-10 before missing all of the 2011 season. He has allowed more than three earned runs just once this season and has had five straight quality starts. He totally dominated the Giants last Saturday, allowing one run and striking out 10 with no walks in a complete-game victory. His strikeout-to-walk ratio is an obscene 84:6 this year. Wainwright faced the Reds on April 29 in St. Louis and took the loss, allowing two runs and five hits in seven innings. He has lost once since.
The Reds have had his number all-time as Wainwright is 4-7 with a 4.14 ERA in 78.1 career innings against them. Last season, he was 1-1 with a 4.50 ERA in two starts at Cincinnati. Wainwright is one of the few pitchers who has mastered Reds star Joey Votto as Votto is only 2-for-20 with five strikeouts in his career against the big right-hander. Jay Bruce and Brandon Phillips both have homered off Wainwright in their careers. Phillips should be in the lineup Friday after missing four straight games with an injured forearm. He had nine hits in his past 19 at-bats with a homer and six runs scored before sitting out.
Cincinnati starts right-hander Mike Leake (5-2, 2.75). He started the year rather slowly but has been awesome of late, allowing one earned run over his past four starts (covering 27 innings). He hasn't faced the Cardinals this year and is 2-2 with a 4.66 ERA in 29 career innings against them. Leake's home ERA is a bit higher than on the road this season, and all six homers he has allowed have come at home, but that's not a huge surprise considering Great American is a hitters' park. The Cards' David Freese, who took a career-best 15-game hitting streak into Thursday's game, is 4-for-8 with a homer in his career of Leake. Matt Holliday is hitting .429 in 14 at-bats against him.
Cardinals at Reds MLB Betting Odds and Trends
At BetOnline, the Cardinals opened at -111 and the Reds at +101 with the total at 7.5. All St. Louis trends entering Thursday: St. Louis is 30-26-3 “over/under” (14-13-2 on road) and 34-25 on the runline. Cincinnati is 33-26-1 O/U (18-12 at home) and 30-30 on the runline.
The Cardinals are 5-0 in their past five Friday games. St. Louis is 11-1 in its past 12 road games against a right-handed starter. St. Louis has won 13 of its past 16 series openers. The Cards are 6-0 in Wainwright's past six road starts. They are 2-5 in his past seven Friday starts. Cincinnati has won its past five series openers and is 4-0 in its past four after an off day. The Reds are 10-2 in their past 12 against the N L Central. Cincinnati has won just one of its past five against righty starters. The Reds are 6-1 in Leake's past seven starts with five days of rest. The over is 4-1-1 in Wainwright's past six road starts. The over is 5-2 in the Cards' past seven series openers. The over is 5-1 in Cincinnati's past six after an off day. The over is 7-1 in Leake's past eight series openers. The under is 4-1 in the past five meetings. St. Louis is 2-5 in the past seven in Cincinnati. The Cardinals are 1-4 in Wainwright's past five against the Reds.
Cardinals at Reds Picks and Betting Predictions
This is the Cards' first visit of the season to Cincinnati. St. Louis leads the season series 4-2. Other than a 13-run outburst by the Reds in an April 8 game, they haven't scored more than two runs in the other five games. Cincinnati is an excellent team at home, and I attribute their mini-skid to Phillips' absence. Presuming he's in the lineup on Friday, take Cincinnati (if not, take the Cards) as you won't get it as a home dog too often. Have to like the under as well.
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