Stephen Nover Cards-Reds Free Tuesday Play

On June 7, 2016, in Free Picks, MLB, by Stephen

Cardinals minus $1.57 at Reds

I really don’t need an excuse to fade the Reds, but with the opening line dropping I have another good reason to back the road favorite Cardinals.

St. Louis starter Mike Leake is in excellent form – a 1.59 ERA in his last five starts – and should be extra pumped pitching against his former team. Leake is experienced pitching at hitter-friendly Great American Ball Park having made 85 career starts for the Reds. This is his first start there as a visitor.

The Cardinals have dominated Cincinnati winning 19 of the past 24 times during the last two years, including going 6-1 in the last seven meetings. St. Louis is 15-6 in its last 21 road games versus sub .500 opponents. The Reds have dropped seven of their last nine home games.

St. Louis’ lineup is better now as shortstop Jhonny Peralta is expected to be activated from the disabled list today. He’s been out all season after injuring his thumb during spring training. Peralta’s return strengthens the Cardinals at three infield spots because it gets disappointing Kolten Wong out of the starting lineup with Matt Carpenter moving from third base to second base.

The Reds have a bunch of junior varsity starting pitchers because of multiple injuries. Lefty John Lamb is one of those with a 5.58 ERA. He’s allowed 17 earned runs in his past four starts spanning 20 2/3 innings. He’s yielded 29 hits in his last four outings with as many walks allowed – nine – as strikeouts during this time frame. The Cardinals are 8-6 versus southpaws this season.

Cincinnati is 3-13 in Lamb’s career starts. Making the Reds nearly an auto-fade is their brutal bullpen which has given up 145 earned runs and 43 homers in 200 1/3 innings for an ERA of 6.50.


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