Michael Lorenzen (4-8, 5.54 ERA) and John Lackey (11-9, 2.90 ERA) start in the second of a four-game series between the Cincinnati Reds (57-81) and the St. Louis Cardinals (88-51) at the Great American Ball Park. The Reds won the last game 11-0 and Cincinnati leads the series 1-0. Action begins at 7:10 p.m. ET on Friday, Sep. 11 and can be seen on FSOH and FSMW.
Lorenzen pitched 5.1 innings in his most recent start, surrendering two runs, striking out two and walking one in a 6-3 win over the Brewers. Joey Votto (.316, 86 Rs, 27 HRs, 70 RBIs, 8 SBs) went 1 for 3 yesterday with one run. Lackey went 7.1 innings, surrendering three runs, striking out four and walking two in a 7-1 defeat to the Pirates in his last outing. Matt Carpenter (.260, 83 Rs, 21 HRs, 72 RBIs, 3 SBs) has been successful at the plate, going 2 for 4 yesterday with two runs and one RBI.
St. Louis takes on Cincinnati as a -158 favorite. The Over/Under (O/U) for the matchup is sitting at eight runs. The Reds have recorded an overall money line of -2,246 and have shown a weak performance as an underdog this season with a record of 28-56. Cincinnati has had a discouraging season against division opponents, earning records of 19-25 and 27-33 as the underdog and SU respectively. Cincinnati leads the MLB in steals, swiping 120 bases. As for the pitchers, opponents have consistently been struck out by the Reds, who rank fifth in the NL in strikeouts per home game with 8.3.
As for their opponent, St. Louis is coming in with an overall money line of +2,526 and an impressive record of 74-33 as the favorite. They have been playing solid baseball as favorite with a 28-14 record against fellow NL Central members, and a 34-22 record SU. St. Louis is excellent at drawing walks with 3.1 per game, ranking fifth in the NL. St. Louis's pitching staff has set the standard for its league, with an NL-low 2.79 ERA.
The Cardinals lead the season series, 8-4. The Reds have a 44-60 record against right-handed starting pitchers on the year, which is what they'll be facing when Lackey takes the mound. Lorenzen (RHP) will be on the hill against the Cardinals, who have a very good 68-35 record against right-handed starting pitchers.
Predictions: SU Winner - StL, O/U - Over
The Cardinals hold a 34-22 record in matchups against NL Central Division rivals, while the Reds currently sit at 27-33 in these games.
Cincinnati earned its seventh shutout of the season in its last game. St. Louis has been shut out 11 times this season.
Having scored zero runs in their last game, the Reds are going to have to up their game if they want to win this matchup. The Cardinals have a 14-0 record in games where opponents scored that many runs.
When they are outhit, the Reds are 9-59. The Cardinals have a 23-35 record when opponents outhit them.
Ranking 26th in home runs, St. Louis has hit 114 this season. Cincinnati ranks 11th with 145 home runs.
Ranking ninth, Cincinnati is in the top 10 of the league in hits, notching 8.58 per game. St. Louis ranks in the top five at fifth with 8.63.
Ranking 21st, St. Louis is near the bottom of the league for its on-base plus slugging percentage (.715). Cincinnati ranks in the bottom half at 19th with an OPS of .713.
The Cardinals are 35-35 in games where they allow one or more home runs. The Reds are 26-64 when they allow at least one homer.