MLB Pick Preview – St. Louis Cardinals at Cincinnati Reds
St. Louis -126
The St. Louis Cardinals will look to even their weekend series with the NL Central rival Cincinnati Reds tonight in Game 2 of a three-game set at the Great American Ball Park after enduring a tough loss in the first game on Friday night. Tonight’s contest is set for 7:10 p.m. (ET) and it will be broadcast nationally on the MLB Network.
Game 1 ended abruptly when Brandon Phillips’ walk-off homer in the bottom of the ninth sunk St. Louis 6-5 as a 135 road underdog. The Cardinals now find themselves tied with Pittsburgh at the top of the division with an overall record of 49-44. They are 25-21 at home this season and 24-23 on the road.
Albert Pujols’ early return to the lineup, after breaking a bone in his wrist back in June, has been a boost to a St. Louis team that continues to lead the National League in hitting with a .269 batting average. It is second only to Cincinnati in runs scored with 438.
Chris Carpenter will be on the mound tonight for the Cardinals. The right hander is 4-7 this season with an ERA of 3.85, but has given up just six earned runs in his last four starts. Lifetime against the Reds, he is 13-4 with a 2.29 ERA.
Cincinnati continues to scratch and claw to stay in the NL Central race with a record of 46-47. It is 4-6 in its last 10 games and with last night’s victory and is now three games in back of the leaders. The Reds are 22-26 on the road and 24-21 at home.
The powerful Cincinnati lineup is tied for third in the NL with a .261 team batting average and is scoring 4.76 runs per game. Jay Bruce and Joey Votta have led the way with a combined 113 RBI and 34 home runs. Bronson Arroyo will get the start tonight for the Reds. He is 7-7 with a 5.58 ERA in 18 previous starts. His last time out, he faced the Cardinals and got tagged for five earned runs on six hits in 6.1 innings of work.
Head-to-head this season, the Reds have a slight 6-4 edge overall and are a perfect 4-0 at home. The total has gone ‘over’ in all four games at Cincinnati and in seven of the 10 overall.
Tonight, bank on St. Louis as a road favorite to snap the Reds’ home winning streak in a game that once again goes ‘over’ the total.
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