Money Line: Cincinnati +115 St. Louis -125
Total Line: 7.5
The Cincinnati Reds will look to make-up some ground in the NL Central when they face the division-leading St. Louis Cardinals this Tuesday night in the first of a three-game set. Game time is slated for 8:15 p.m. (ET) and it will be available on MLB.TV.
This will Cincinnati’s second go around against the defending champions this season after dropping two of three to the Cardinals at home last week. It followed that up by losing three of four to Washington over the weekend to fall to 4-6 on the year. During this seven-game span, the normally productive Reds have been held to two or less runs in all but two of the games.
Right hander Johnny Cueto will get another crack at St. Louis after giving-up three earned runs on seven hits in five innings in last week’s start. This followed an impressive outing against Miami in which Cueto held the Marlins scoreless for seven innings to get the win. He is now 4-4 against the Cardinals with an ERA of 4.97.
St. Louis has vaulted to a 2.5-game lead in the NL Central with a 7-3 start. It has won its first three series while leading the National League in scoring with an average of 5.7 runs per game. While it is far too early to say the Cardinals do not miss having Albert Pujols in the lineup, they are sure acting that way.
Kyle Lohse will take the mound for St. Louis in this one. He is off to a perfect 2-0 start with a stellar 1.35 ERA including a 3-1 win over the Reds last Tuesday. This improved his career record against Cincinnati to 3-3 and his ERA to 3.83.
The Reds are 8-1 in Cueto’s last nine starts but just 2-8 in their last 10 games against a team with a winning record. The total has stayed ‘under’ in six of their last seven games overall.
The Cardinals are 5-2 in Lohse’s last seven home starts and 5-2 in their last seven games following a win. The total has stayed ‘under’ five of Lohse’s last seven starts.
Head-to-head, Cincinnati is 21-46 in its last 67 games in St. Louis including a 4-5 record last season. The total has stayed ‘under’ in three previous games this season and in six of the last eight meetings overall.
Look for another low-scoring affair this time around as well, but the edge goes to St. Louis with Lohse on the mound. The Free MLB Pick: St. Louis 4 Cincinnati 2