Michael Wacha (1-0, 1.42 ERA) and the St. Louis Cardinals (5-3) go up against Johnny Cueto (0-1, 0.64 ERA) and the Cincinnati Reds (5-4) in the first of a three-game division series at Busch Stadium. The game gets underway at 8:15 p.m. ET on Friday, Apr. 17 and will air on FSN-OH and FSN-MW.
Wacha is 2-1 with a 2.15 ERA and 1.12 WHIP against the Reds in his career. Matt Carpenter (.364 ) continued his strong start to the season yesterday, going 2 for 4 with one run and one RBI. In his career against the Cardinals, Cueto is 5-7 with a 4.01 ERA, 1.28 WHIP, and 62 strikeouts.
St. Louis, a -120 favorite, will look to capitalize at home against Cincinnati. The Over/Under (O/U) for the matchup is set at six runs. The Cardinals are 2-2 as the favorite and have an overall money line of +18. They have been very patient at the plate, ranking fifth in the NL with an average of 3.4 walks per game. Transitioning to the St. Louis defense and pitching staff, teams routinely struggle to score runs against the Cardinals, who allow only 2.9 runs per game. The Cardinals don't allow many hitters to get on base, ranking fourth in the league with a 1.00 WHIP. An area where the Cardinals are particularly strong is striking batters out, where they average 8.7 K's per game.
Switching gears, the Reds come into this game with a win percentage of .500 when playing as the underdog (3-3) and an overall money line of +144. Against divisional opponents, they are 5-4 SU and 3-3 as the underdog. The Reds have racked up 12 steals on the year, making them one of the most threatening base-running teams in the league.
The Cardinals are 2-1 against the Reds this season. The Cardinals will take on a right-hander (Cueto) in this game and have a 3-3 record against right-handed starting pitchers this season. The right-handed Wacha will take the mound against the Reds, who have a 4-2 record against righty starters this season.
Predictions: SU Winner - STL, O/U - Over
The Cardinals hold a 5-3 record in matchups against NL Central rivals, while the Reds currently sit at 5-4 in these games.
Cincinnati recorded at least two errors for the second time this season.
The Cardinals are coming into this game after allowing one walk during their last outing. The Reds have a 0-2 record when opponents give up that many walks or fewer.
When they are outhit, the Reds are 2-2. The Cardinals have a 1-0 record when opponents outhit them.
Ranking 27th in home runs, St. Louis has hit four this season. Cincinnati ranks ninth with nine home runs.
Ranking 10th, Cincinnati is in the top 10 of the league in hits, notching 7.44 per game. St. Louis ranks in the top five at fourth with 8.57.
Ranking 24th, Cincinnati is near the bottom of the league for its on-base plus slugging percentage (.626). St. Louis ranks in the top half at 12th with an OPS of .690.
When the Reds allow at least one home run, they are 4-4. When the Cardinals allow one or more homers, they have a 2-1 record.