Date/Time: April 30th, 8:15 PM ET
Television: MLB Network
Probable Starters: Arroyo (Cincinnati) vs. Garcia (St. Louis)
Moneyline: Cardinals -130
The Cincinnati Reds and the St. Louis Cardinals have a deep hatred for each other in the NL Central, and that bad blood will continue to spill over on Tuesday night when these two square off for the middle game of a three-game set at Busch Stadium.
We really aren’t all that impressed with what the Reds have brought to the table this year. Manager Dusty Baker has an offense that has underachieved in our eyes, averaging 4.63 runs per game with a .245 team batting average. There are some that have really saved the team this year, namely OF Shin-Soo Choo, who has batted .340 with an OPS of 1.041, but from top to bottom, it is the pitching staff and the bullpen carrying this club. RHP Bronson Arroyo is the consummate average pitcher in the bigs, and he is only going to be as good as his team is. For the season, he is a predictable 2-2 with a 4.24 ERA. He has a couple dud starts on the road in which he has allowed a total of 10 runs (nine earned) over 12 innings of work, whereas in his two home starts against significantly lesser opposition, he allowed just four total runs in 16 frames.
The Cardinals have dropped three in a row, and they have put up terrible offensive numbers in those games in spite of the fact that they were favored in all three. The team has managed just 18 hits and four runs in those games combined, and that obviously isn’t going to be good enough to win the mass majority of your games that aren’t played against the Miami Marlins or the Houston Astros. We really don’t like what we’re seeing right now out of LHP Jaime Garcia either. Garcia had a great start against these Reds earlier this year, striking out a season-high 10 men in 6.2 innings of work, and he followed that game up by tossing seven scoreless innings against the Milwaukee Brewers. However, since that point, he has allowed nine runs in 8.2 innings, and he only has a total of six strikeouts. It’s a concern for sure, but it isn’t the end of the world, especially knowing how well he has pitched against the Reds historically.
And that’s why we think that the Cardinals are going to get back on track in this game. Garcia is the man that is more likely to go out and win this game by himself, and there’s something to be said about that. Pile in there the value of home field advantage and the fact that the offense is due to really bust out in a big time way, and we’ve got the makings for a romp in the Gateway to the West tonight.
Cincinnati Reds @ St. Louis Cardinals Pick: St. Louis Cardinals -130
is a staff writer living in the Orlando area. He has covered NFL, MLB, college football, CFL, AFL, NBA, college basketball, NASCAR, golf, tennis, and the NHL for a number of various outlets in his career, and he has been published by a number of different media outlets, including the Orlando Sentinel and the Wall Street Journal.