Free Picks: St. Louis Cardinals vs Cincinnati Reds

Cardinals vs Reds MLB
St. Louis Cardinals vs Cincinnati Reds, MLB, Busch Stadium

The St. Louis Cardinals (9-10) will host the Cincinnati Reds (9-10) for the second of three games on Saturday, and for the sixth time this season (the Reds have won three of five so far after winning at home on opening weekend). Cincinnati has been one of the league’s streakiest teams so far this season, for better and for worse: Within their first 20 games, the Reds already have a six-game winning streak and a five-game losing streak (active).

Streaky Reds in new of improved fortunes after topsy turvy start

The Cincinnati Reds’ previous highs have given way to some troubling lows, as the team’s active five-game losing streak puts them in an unattractive position ahead of Saturday’s matchup with the St. Louis Cardinals.

Unsurprisingly, the struggling Reds are underdogs against the Cardinals, having lost to St. Louis on Friday to extend their current skid. The line is quite close though, as the Reds are -105 underdogs and the Cardinals are -115 favorites on the money line (Betway) among Saturday’s MLB picks.

Wade Miley, who took the mound April 18 for Cincinnati in a game that started the losing streak, will try his luck again facing a St. Louis team that he’s seen fairly mediocre results against: 2-2 with a 3.86 ERA in his past five starts vs. the Cardinals, though only two of those since 2019.

St. Louis enters Saturday with a chance to win a series after dropping its past four. The Cardinals also choked away Friday’s game, allowing three runs in the ninth inning of a 5-4 victory. The more concerning element of the game was not the bullpen’s near collapse, but rather the potential injury of star catcher Yadier Molina.

At this time, the only news on Molina is that there is no news. He left Friday’s game with a foot injury, but his status moving forward won’t be determined until he receives an MRI on Saturday sometime prior to the game. It’s fair to consider him day-to-day, although it feels unlikely he’ll play Saturday. His absence would be significant for the Cardinals, who’ve seen the 38-year-old post a 1.044 OPS through 18 games.

Molina has undoubtedly been the Cardinals’ best player at the plate, but there are others who’ve posted fairly  strong starts including Dylan Carlson (.886 OPS) and Nolan Arenado (.801). Both players recorded a hit and a run scored on Friday.

The potential Molina injury creates a compelling opportunity to bank on the underdog Reds, and here’s another reason: this five-game losing streak is filling with near misses for Cincinnati. All five losses have come by three or fewer runs, including two one-run losses and two extra-inning losses. Surely their fortunes will change, right?

We can’t say for sure that that’ll be the case Saturday, but for our BetPicks prediction we do like the Reds to snap their ski against the Cardinals.

Stats

  • Louis is 4-6 on the money line in its past 10
  • The OVER has cashed in five of the Cardinals’ past nine games
  • Cincinnati is 3-7 on the money line in its past 10
  • The OVER has cashed in six of the Reds’ past seven 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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