Cincinnati Reds (62-83; 77-62-6 O/U) vs. St. Louis Cardinals (76-68; 73-63-8 O/U)
MLB: Thursday, August 14, 2017 at 1:45pm EST
Line: St. Louis -200/Cincinnati +185
The St. Louis Cardinals and the Cincinnati Reds will wrap up a three game divisional series Thursday afternoon from Busch Stadium. The Reds will send 25-year old left-hander Amir Garrett to the mound, and the Cardinals will give the start to 24-yea old right-hander Luke Weaver. The Reds own an 8-6 lead in the season series.
Garrett Serves Up Three Homers in Loss to Mets
Amir Garrett will get the call for the 14th time of the season, looking to return to the win column. Garrett made his first start with the Reds since June five days ago and conceded four runs including three homers in five innings to the Mets, and was charged with the loss. The rookie right-hander has struggled with the Reds this season, posting a poor 7.39 ERA and a 1.55 WHIP accompanied with a 3-7 record in 63.1 innings of work. He faced the Cardinals early in the season and was outstanding, tossing six shutout innings and recorded the win. Garrett has conceded 22 homers in his 63.1 innings pitched. Joey Votto has done more damage against the Cardinals than any other team this season, smashing six home runs along with 15 RBI’s. The 34-year old first baseman is having a huge season, hitting .314 with 34 home runs and 93 RBI’s. Votto has only driven in two runs this month.
The Reds are now averaging 4.76 runs per game, ranking them 13th in the Majors, and are hitting .255 as a team. The Cincinnati pitching owns a Major League worst 5.28 team ERA.
Weaver Targets Fifth Consecutive Victory
Luke Weaver will make his 10th appearance and seventh start of the season, targeting his fifth straight win. Weaver was terrific in his previous start, hurling 5.2 scoreless innings to the Pirates. The rookie right-hander is pitching lights out baseball right now, improving his ERA to a stifling 2.16 to go with a 1.13 WHIP and a 5-1 record in 41.2 innings logged. He did allow five runs in 0.2 innings of relief against the Reds last season. Weaver has swing-and-miss stuff, racking up 52 strikeouts in his 41.2 innings. Yadier Molina is the hottest hitter on the Cardinals right now, smashing two homers along with 10 RBI’s over his last three games. The 13-year veteran catcher is having another strong season, currently hitting .282 with 17 home runs and 75 RBI’s. Molina is 10 for 40 with five RBI’s against the Reds this season. The Cardinals are making a strong push for the top spot in the NL Central, now only two games back of the Cubs.
The Cardinals are currently scoring an average of 4.80 runs per game, ranking them 11th in the Majors, and are hitting .260 as a team. The St. Louis pitching features a solid 3.86 team ERA, good for sixth in the Majors.
The Cincinnati Reds are:
- under is 6-1 in their last 7 games in the third game of a series.
The St. Louis Cardinals are:
- under is 5-1 in their last six games overall.
- under is 5-0 in their last 6 games against a team with a losing record.
- under is 4-0-1 in Weaver’s last 5 home starts.
- under is 5-0 in their last 5 games in the third game of a series.
I am going with the under in this matchup. Weaver has been nearly flawless, allowing only four runs in his last 33.2 innings pitched which equates to a minuscule 1.02 ERA. Furthermore, Garrett tossed six shutout innings against the Cardinals in the lone meeting this season, so I am confident he can at least limit the damage.