A pair of teams from the NL Central that are hoping to get into the postseason duke it out on Friday night at the Great American Ballpark, where the Cincinnati Reds will take on the St. Louis Cardinals.
The Cards know that they aren’t going to win the NL Central this year in all likelihood, knowing that they are seven games back with less than 40 to play, but they do know that they have a great chance of winning a Wild Card slot. They are a game up on the Pittsburgh Pirates coming into this weekend for that last slot, and they still have the Atlanta Braves in their sights as well. Lance Lynn has proven to be a difference maker this year for the St. Louis rotation. He is 13-5 with a 3.73 ERA, and he has some great splits to boot. However, there are some problems. Lynn has allowed at least three runs in four of his last five starts, and he is starting to issue far too many walks. Yes, that 9.1 K/9 ratio is fantastic, but 53 walks in 24 starts is just too many. When batters are hitting .248 against you, you should have a WHIP significantly better than 1.30, but that’s all that Lynn has amassed this season.
Meanwhile, the Reds are cruising to what should be the NL Central title and home field advantage in the first round of the playoffs, and one of the men that they have to thank for that is Mat Latos. Latos was a great acquisition in the offseason from the San Diego Padres, though it still feels a bit odd that he could even possibly be starting Game 1 of the postseason for Cincinnati. Latos is 10-3 with a 3.56 ERA this year. He, too, has issued too many walks with 49 in 25 starts, but he also has thrown more innings and has nearly as many strikeouts as Lynn does. Batters are hitting .232 against Latos, which has kept his WHIP down to just 1.18. The long ball has been a problem, with 21 homers already allowed this year. Latos has been great of late though, coming up with two earned runs or fewer allowed in six straight starts. Against the Cards in his career, Latos has been nothing to write home about though, knowing that he has a 1-3 record and a 9.75 ERA against them.
The Reds just keep finding ways to win, especially here at the Great American Ballpark, and we aren’t ones to stop backing a team when it is hot. The Reds have the best bullpen in the game, and they have a pitcher that has eaten a ton of innings and is putting slews of zeroes up on the board on a consistent basis. Go with Cincinnati to take care of the Cards on Friday night in MLB betting action. Cincinnati 6 – St. Louis 2