St. Louis Cardinals (78-72; 75-67-8 O/U) vs. Cincinnati Reds (66-85; 78-67-6 O/U)
MLB: Thursday, September 21, 2017 at 7:10pm EST
Line: St. Louis -137/Cincinnati +127
The St. Louis Cardinals will take on the Cincinnati Reds as the divisional rivals close a three game series Thursday evening from the Great American Ball Park. The Cardinals will give the nod to 25-year old right-hander Carlos Martinez, and the Reds will counter with 31-year old right-hander Homer Bailey. The Reds own a 9-8 lead in the season series.
Martinez Crushed by Cubs in Worst Start of Season
Carlos Martinez is back on the hill for the 31st time of the season, looking to rebound from a poor outing. Martinez served up seven runs in 5.1 innings to the Cubs in his last effort and was tagged with the loss. The young right-hander is having a terrific season, now featuring a 3.57 ERA and a 1.19 WHIP to go with an 11-11 record in 194.1 innings of work. He has struggled against the Reds this season, conceding ten runs in 11.1 innings to go with an 0-2 record, and possesses a 5-3 record with a 3.63 ERA in 57 career innings against the division rivals. Adam Duvall is 4 for 8 against Martinez, while Joey Votto is 2 for 16 with three RBI’s, and Zack Cozart is 7 for 22. Jose Martinez has done solid damage against the Reds this season, posting a .303 average with 10 RBI’s in 33 at bats. The 29-year old left-fielder is having a very promising rookie season, sporting a .309 average with 13 homers and 41 RBI’s. Martinez has collected 13 RBI’s this month. The Cardinals playoff hopes are fading, still sitting 3.5 games back of the Rockies for the second Wildcard position.
The Cardinals are currently averaging 4.71 runs per game, ranking them 14th overall, and are hitting .259 as a team. The St. Louis pitching features a solid 3.89 team ERA, good for seventh in the Majors.
Bailey Shines in Win Over Pirates
Homer Bailey will get the nod for the 17th time of the season, aiming for his second straight win. Bailey was sharp in his previous start, limiting the Pirates to only one run in 5.2 innings and collected the win to bring his record to 5-8. The veteran right-hander got off to a disastrous start but has been steady as of late, and is carrying a 6.86 ERA and a 1.73 WHIP in 80 innings pitched on the year. He took on the Cardinals in August and it was a disaster as he served up ten runs in 3.1 innings, and now owns a 6-12 record with a 5.75 ERA in 22 career starts. Matt Carpenter is 17 for 31 with four RBI’s against Bailey, while Yadier Molina is 15 for 39 with five RBI’s, and Kolten Wong is 5 for 10. Zack Cozart continues to drive in runs at a rapid pace, smashing five home runs along with nine RBI’s over his last seven games. The 32-year old shortstop is having a tremendous season, posting a .303 average with 23 home runs and 62 RBI’s. Cozart is only hitting .276 with four RBI’s against the Cardinals this season.
The Reds are now averaging 4.74 runs per game, ranking them 11th overall, and are hitting .254 as a team. The Cincinnati pitching owns an awful 5.29 team ERA, positioning them down at 29th in the Majors.
The St. Louis Cardinals are:
- over is 4-1 in Martinez’ last 5 road starts.
- over is 4-1 in Martinez’ last 5 starts on five days of rest.
The Cincinnati Reds are:
- over is 4-1 in Bailey’s last 5 home starts against the Cardinals.
- over is 5-1 in Bailey’s last 6 starts against a team with a winning record.
- over is 7-2 in Bailey’s last 9 starts against the NL Central.
I am taking the over in this contest. Bailey surrendered 10 runs in his lone start against the Cardinals this season and now owns a brutal 5.75 career ERA against the Cardinals, plus he possesses a 7.78 ERA at home this season. Furthermore, Martinez has had trouble against the Reds this season, allowing ten runs in 11.1 innings, so I am confident both clubs can have a strong night at the plate.