Mike Leake (8-9, 4.80 ERA) and the St. Louis Cardinals (59-53) meet Brandon Finnegan (7-8, 4.45 ERA) and the Cincinnati Reds (45-66) in the second of a three-game division series at Busch Stadium. The Cardinals won the last game 5-4, and St. Louis leads the series 1-0. The game gets underway at 8:15 p.m. ET on Tuesday, Aug. 9 and will air on FSMW and FSOH.
In his last start, Leake pitched 5.0 innings, giving up seven runs, striking out two and walking one in a 7-0 loss to the Reds. Matt Carpenter (.294, 56 Rs, 14 HRs, 55 RBIs) played well again yesterday, going 2 for 5 with two RBIs. The Reds were victorious over the Cardinals 7-0 the last time Finnegan pitched. He went 6.0 innings, allowing zero runs and striking out four.
St. Louis, a -172 favorite, will look to capitalize at home against Cincinnati. The Over/Under (O/U) for the matchup is set at eight runs. The Cardinals are 42-35 as the favorite and have an overall money line of -342. They have impressive records of 19-13 as the favorite and 25-19 SU within their division. The Cardinals come into the game with the third-ranked scoring offense in the NL, averaging 5.0 runs per game. The Cardinals rank second in the majors in extra base hits with 390. The Cardinals typically don't swing at bad pitches, which has led to an impressive 3.4 walks per game. St. Louis's pitching staff has fallen apart in the past 10 games. Its average runs allowed per game rose to 6.3 during that span, compared to its 4.3 season average. The Cardinals don't give up many walks to opposing batters, ranking fourth in the NL with only 2.8 walks allowed per game.
Across the field, the Reds have a subpar record of 29-60 when they are the underdog and are -947 overall with the money line. Against divisional rivals, they are 17-27 SU and have played poorly as the underdog with a 14-25 record. The Reds have racked up 98 steals on the year, making them one of the most threatening base-running teams in the league. The last 10 games have really brought the best out of the Cincinnati pitchers. They've allowed 3.0 runs per game during that span, which is lower than their season average of 5.5.
The Cardinals have mostly come out on top against the Reds in their previous 10 games this season, earning a 6-4 record. The Cardinals will take on a left-hander (Finnegan) in this game and have a 15-18 record against left-handed starting pitchers this season. Taking the hill against the Reds will be the right-hander Leake. They sport a 37-50 record against righties.
Predictions: SU Winner - STL, O/U - Over
The Reds are struggling at 17-27 in their division, while the Cardinals sit at 25-19.
When leading after seven innings, St. Louis is 28-22, while Cincinnati is 23-32.
The Reds managed to give up five walks in their last game. They'll have to pick it up against the Cardinals who are heading in with a 24-8 record against opponents who give up that many walks or more.
When they outhit their opponents, the Reds are 33-10. The Cardinals have a 41-6 record when outhitting opponents.
Ranking 21st in runs, Cincinnati has earned 481 this season. St. Louis ranks third with 557 runs.
Ranking 25th, Cincinnati is near the bottom of the league in walks, notching 306 this season. St. Louis ranks in the top 10 at seventh with 382.
The Cardinals are 47-32 in games where they hit one or more home runs. The Reds are 34-36 when they hit at least one homer.