Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#953 St. Louis Cardinals Cardinals -175 vs.
#954 Cincinnati Reds 9.5
Sunday, August 18, 2019 at 1:10pm EDT
Written by Adam Rauzino

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#953 St. Louis Cardinals
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The Cincinnati Reds will host the first-place St. Louis Cardinals as the division foes wrap up a four-game series Sunday afternoon from the Great American Ball Park. The Cardinals will hand the ball to 23-year old right-hander Jack Flaherty, and the Reds will counter with 28-year old left-hander Alex Wood. The Cardinals feature an 8-6 lead in the season series.

Flaherty Dominates Again as Shutout Streak Continues

Cardinals’ ace Jack Flaherty will take the mound for the 25th time of the season in this one. Flaherty continued his brilliance last time out, logging seven shutout innings against the Royals in a 2-0 win to bring his record to 6-6. The 6-foot-4 right-hander is enjoying a dominant stretch, tossing 21 consecutive scoreless innings which included gems against the Cubs and Dodgers, and he has improved his ERA to 3.52 to go with a 1.10 WHIP in 135.1 innings of action on the season. Flaherty has registered 11.1 shutout innings against the Reds this season, and he features a stellar 2.60 ERA and a 1-2 record in six career meetings against the division rivals. 

Marcell Ozuna has done solid damage against the Reds this season, collecting 10 RBI’s to go with a 1.1 OPS. The 28-year old left fielder is having a productive season, clubbing 22 home runs along with 66 RBI’s. Ozuna has only tallied four RBI’s to go with a .256 average on the month. 

St. Louis stands 14 games above the .500 mark against teams with a losing record this season. They own a 3-1 record on their current six-game road trip. The Cards are peaking at the right time and the Cardinals diehard fanbase would love to see the Cardinals win the NL Central against the rival Cubs. St. Louis has a one-game lead ahead of Chicago entering Saturday.

The Cardinals are currently averaging 4.50 runs on the season, ranking them 24th in the Major Leagues. The St. Louis pitching staff is locked in, and they feature a 3.99 team ERA, good for fifth in the Majors. The Cardinals hold a 30-33 road record entering Saturday.

Wood Still Finding Form on the Mound

Alex Wood will make his fifth start of the season, eying his second win of the month. Wood was decent in his latest start, holding the Nationals to three runs in five innings, leading to the loss to even his record at 1-1. The former L.A. Dodger has missed most of the season due to injury and he is taking some time to find a groove, logging a weak 5.59 ERA and a 1.45 WHIP in 19.1 innings pitched. Wood has conceded five runs in 11.1 career innings pitched against the Cardinals.  Paul Goldschmidt is 6 for 27 against Wood, while Matt Carpenter is 3 for 5, and Marcell Ozuna is 7 for 24.

Joey Votto is one of the few Cardinals hitters to have success against Cardinals’ starter Jack Flaherty, recording 5 hits in 10 at-bats with three walks. The 12-year veteran slugger is currently hitting .262 with 12 homers and 39 RBI’s. Votto is 13 for 48 with three RBI’s against the Cardinals this season. Votto is dealing with a sore back and he is questionable for this one, and Eugenio Suarez is also questionable with a thumb injury.

Cincinnati has several young hitters starting to make their presence felt. They rank in the bottom 10 in the Majors in many hitting categories, however, their young lineup should continue to progress, and their pitching has been a strength.

The Reds are scoring an average of 4.55 runs, placing them 22nd in the big leagues. The Cincinnati pitching staff is carrying a 4.24 team ERA, pegging them ninth in the Majors. The Reds are 34-19 at home.

Best Bets for this Game

Full-Game Side Bet

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I am taking the Cardinals in this contest. Cardinals’ starter Jack Flaherty is the hottest pitcher in baseball right now. The right-hander has not allowed a single run in three consecutive starts, and he went exactly seven innings in all three. I expect another dazzling performance considering he has yet to allow a run against the Reds this season. Flaherty has tossed 11.1 scoreless innings against the division foes.

Furthermore, Reds’ starter Alex Wood is still searching for his form. Wood did not make his first start until late July due to a back injury. He has surrendered 12 runs including six home runs in his four starts this month spread across 19.2 innings. The Cardinals have won six out of their last seven games entering Saturday, and I anticipate another win in this one.

Prediction: St. Louis Cardinals

Full-Game Total Pick

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I expect a low scoring game with Jack Flaherty on the hill. As mentioned Flaherty has not allowed a run in 21 straight innings, and the under is 4-0 in his last four road starts.

In addition, the Cardinals aren’t very productive against left-handers as they stand 22nd in the Majors with a mediocre .757 OPS against lefties on the season. The under is a convincing 8-2 in the Cardinals’ last ten games and I expect it to convert again in this one.

Prediction: Under

Full-Game Prop Bet

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I expect Flaherty and the Cardinals to shut down the Reds in this one, and the under on their team total offered on PointsBet is a good play. The Cardinals have limited their opposition to only a combined 12 runs in their last five games overall. Also, Cardinals’ starter Jack Flaherty features a stifling 2.60 career ERA in six career meetings against the Reds.

Prediction: Reds Team Total Under

First Five Innings Prop Prediction

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I am selecting the Cardinals to score first. I expect St. Louis to get on the board first considering Flaherty’s dominance on the mound. The right-hander owns a minuscule 1.50 ERA in both the first and second inning this season. Also, Alex Wood has allowed five hits and three doubles in his four innings logged in the first inning this season.

Prediction: Cardinals to Score First
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Written By Adam Rauzino

Adam has been a sports fanatic his entire life, closely following hockey, baseball, basketball and football. Adam enjoys analyzing various stats, as well as studying Sabermetrics and analytics to take his picks to a whole new level. Adam has a passion for writing about various sports as well as personal finance and has brought his talents to us here at Winners and Whiners. He graduated with a diploma in business marketing and business finance.