Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#1991 Cincinnati Reds vs.
#1992 St. Louis Cardinals
Friday, April 23, 2021 at 8:15pm EDT
Written by Chris Kubala

A pair of NL Central rivals will open up a weekend set down in the Gateway City. The Cincinnati Reds are on the road as they start up a three-game weekend set with the St. Louis Cardinals Friday night. Cincinnati finished up a three-game home set with the Diamondbacks Thursday afternoon, losing 14-11 in 10 innings to get swept. St. Louis dropped the rubber game of their three-game set on the road against the Nationals Wednesday afternoon as they were blanked 1-0. Last season, the Cardinals won the season series 6-4 but the Reds took two of three in the most recent set between the teams, which came on the road September 11-13, 2020.

Cincinnati Reds Looking to Regroup

Cincinnati couldn’t get enough pitching to survive a wild game at the Great American Ball Park, leading to their fourth consecutive defeat. The Reds entered Thursday night second in the NL Central, two games behind the Brewers for the top spot. Jesse Winker (his second and third of the year) homered twice while Joey Votto (his fourth), Eugenio Suarez (his third), Nick Castellanos (his sixth) and Jonathan India (his first) each homered in the contest. Jeff Hoffman didn’t factor in the decision as he threw five innings, allowing two runs (one earned) on four hits with one walk and four strikeouts. Lucas Sims (0-1) took the loss as he allowed four runs (three earned) on two hits with one walk and two strikeouts over one inning of relief.

Sonny Gray is expected to get the ball for his second start of the year for the Reds after starting the season on the IL. He comes in with no record, a 4.15 ERA, a 1.846 WHIP, two walks and six strikeouts on the season. Gray didn’t factor in the decision in his last start, which came against the Indians Saturday. He threw 4.1 innings, allowing two runs on six hits with two walks and six strikeouts in a game the Reds went on to win 3-2 in 10 innings. Gray makes his sixth career start against the Cardinals in this contest. He is 1-2 with a 3.86 ERA, a 1.371 WHIP, 14 walks and 26 strikeouts over 23.1 innings of work against them. Gray is 0-1 with a 2.04 ERA, a 1.132 WHIP, eight walks and 15 strikeouts over 17.2 innings of work in three career starts at Busch Stadium.

St. Louis Cardinals Hoping to Gain Ground in NL Central Race

St. Louis opened their early week set with the Nationals with a win but dropped the final two games to wind up with the series loss as they were shut out Wednesday. The Cardinals entered Thursday night last in the NL Central, three games behind the Brewers for the top spot. On Wednesday, St. Louis wasted another solid outing on the mound as their bats were already on the flight back to the Gateway City. The Cardinals finished with six hits in the game, with Paul DeJong the lone player to have two, and went zero for five with runners in scoring position. Carlos Martinez (0-4) took the loss on the mound as he allowed one run on four hits with one walk and three strikeouts over six innings of work.

Kwang Hyun Kim is projected to make his second start of the season for the Cardinals in this contest. He comes in with no record, a 9.00 ERA, a 2.00 WHIP, one walk and four strikeouts on the season. Kim didn’t factor in the decision in his season debut, which came Saturday on the road against the Phillies. He threw three innings, allowing three runs on five hits with one walk and four strikeouts in a 9-4 Cardinals defeat. Kim makes his third career start against the Reds in this contest. He is 2-0 with a 0.00 ERA, a 0.727 WHIP, two walks and seven strikeouts over 11 innings of work against them. Kim is 2-0 with one save, a 1.00 ERA, a 0.889 WHIP, three walks and nine strikeouts over 18 innings of work in four career appearances, three starts, at Busch Stadium.

Best Bets for this Game

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Full-Game Side Bet

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We’re looking at a pair of pitchers who are coming off their season debuts last weekend. The Reds generated plenty of offense in their series with the Diamondbacks only to have that be a non-factor as their pitching, especially their bullpen, imploded. Gray has been the better pitcher over the course of his career and the Reds have plenty of offensive weaponry, as evidenced by the six homers they hammered in Thursday’s game. Kim has pitched well in his two career starts against the Reds but the Cardinals’ struggles come home to roost in this contest. Give the edge to the Reds as they snap their four-game slide.

Prediction: Cincinnati Reds -120

Full-Game Total Pick

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Cincinnati owns the highest over percentage in the league as 13 of their 18 games have gone over the mark entering this one. The Reds lead the majors with an average of 6.17 runs per contest on the year entering this one. Cincinnati entered Thursday night 29th in the majors in run prevention as they give up an average of 5.22 runs per game, giving them an average total of 11.39 runs a night. St. Louis has seen the over post a 9-8-1 mark on the season going into this game. The Cardinals are 10th in the majors in scoring as they put up an average of 4.72 runs a night. St. Louis is tied for 21st in run prevention as they give up an average of 4.83 runs per game, giving them an average total of 9.55 runs a night. Look for this one to fall just short of the mark as Kim has pitched well against the Reds in his career.

Prediction: Under 7.5
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Written By Chris Kubala , "Chris Kubala"

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