St. Louis and Cincinnati meet in one of the most important series for these divisional rivals, as they are chasing the leading Pittsburgh. The regular-season ends in one month from now and although both teams are well-positioned for a wildcard, none of them wants to have their year decided in one conclusive game.
Bet: Cincinnati Reds
Odds: Winner Sports 2.00
The Cardinals have tied the Pirates for the lead but failed to build on their momentum, and need to win the series against Cincinnati to leapfrog Pittsburgh. They have home pitch advantage, but the designated pitcher suffered an injury and will be replaced by Tyler Lyons. The rookie left-hander lost 4/6 decisions and conceded an average of 5 runs per game, two serious reasons to doubt his ability to contain the Reds.
Mike Leake will take the mound for the visitors and despite his impressive record in 2013, the pitcher is mired in a one-month losing streak. His ERA stands at 6.26 over the span, which is more than twice his overall percentage so he needs to break out of the funk quickly and there is no better time to do it than against St. Louis. He posted some good numbers against Molina and Beltran, but he struggled against David Freese in all his outings, so he will need to be extra careful against this player.
Winner Sports under-price St. Louis, despite the hosts depending on a young pitcher who is yet to prove his worth. Form is temporary, but class is permanent and despite the fact that Mike Leake has been less than stellar in August he has the first chance to win this pitcher’s duel and that’s why punters should back the Reds tonight.