Free Picks: St. Louis Cardinals vs Miami Marlins

Cardinals vs Marlins Week 12
St. Louis Cardinals vs Miami Marlins, MLB, Busch Stadium

The St. Louis Cardinals (33-33) will face the Miami Marlins (29-37) to close out a three-game series on Wednesday, which also concludes the six-game season series between these teams. St. Louis entered the week in a tailspin, having lost eight of nine games and plummeting from second to fourth in the National League Central. Miami has toiled in the lower portion of the NL East for a while now, sitting no fewer than five games back since June began. The Cardinals have already clinched the season series, beating the Marlins in their first four meetings.

Can the Cardinals capitalize on a team they’ve handled in 2021?

St. Louis has been tough to watch for the past week-plus, as they lost in bunches and continued a dive down the NL Central standings. Fortunately for them, a respite on their schedule appeared in the form of a three-game home series against Miami.

The Cardinals have feasted on the Marlins through their first four games this season, but can that continue Wednesday? Thanks to an unfavorable starting pitching matchup, St. Louis actually finds itself as +100 money line underdogs (10Bet) on the day’s MLB picks. The favored Marlins are -120 money line chalk (10Bet), which again is tied tightly to the strengths of the guy they’ll have on the mound (as well as the weaknesses of the guy St. Louis will have on the mound).

Miami’s Sandy Alcantara (4-5, 3.39 ERA) is certainly much better than his record indicates. He is prone to the occasional blowup outing — Alcantara allowed eight runs in 1 1/3 innings against the Dodgers about a month ago — but most of the time he’s quite steady. Six of his past seven starts have gone six-plus innings (three of which have gone seven-plus), and five of those were quality starts.

Alcantara did lose his lone start against the Cardinals this season, but you can hardly put any blame on him: The 25-year-old allowed two earned runs over six innings while striking out 10 in a 4-2 defeat.

For the Cardinals, 23-year-old right-hander Johan Oviedo (0-2, 5.72 ERA) is learning the hard way what it’s like to pitch in the majors. A dozen outings into his MLB career, he’s still looking for his first win. He’s also still looking for his first quality start, as well as his first start of six-plus innings. Safe to say he hasn’t had much success so far.

Oviedo’s past three starts went as no decisions, and he lost the two before that. St. Louis went 1-4 in that span. He also has 14 walks in his past 14 2/3 innings, which is a substantial concern. The Marlins are not a very fearsome offensive team (.677 team OPS, 25th in MLB), but any team can be dangerous when they’re given a bundle of free passes on the bases.

An additional point in Miami’s favor is that, while they haven’t beaten St. Louis yet entering Tuesday, three of their four losses have come by either one run or two. We believe Wednesday’s pitching mismatch does enough to put Miami in good position against St. Louis, so we’ll roll with the Marlins on the money line in our BetPicks prediction.

Stats

  • St. Louis is 2-8 on the money line in its past 10
  • The OVER has cashed in six of the Cardinals’ past nine games
  • Miami is 5-5 on the money line in its past 10
  • The UNDER has cashed in five of the Marlins’ past nine games

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Jordan Horrobin is a freelance sports journalist based in Toronto, Ontario, who enjoys sports-related research and telling engaging stories. His work can also be found at Sportsnet, Forbes and elsewhere. Though he abandoned most of his team-specific fandoms in the interest of unbiased analysis, Jordan roots hard for his fantasy football/hockey teams (and he's a complete homer for all things Ohio University). You can follow Jordan on Twitter at @JordanHorrobin

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