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Cincinnati Reds vs. St. Louis Cardinals Free Pick - 8/2/2013

St. Louis Cardinals (63-44) at Cincinnati Reds (60-49)

MLB Baseball: Friday, August 2, 2013 at 7:10 pm (Great American Ball Park)

The Line: Cincinnati Reds -122 / St. Louis Cardinals +112 --- Over/Under: 8.5 See the Latest Odds

TV: FS-Midwest, FS-Ohio

The Cincinnati Reds and the St. Louis Cardinals face off on Friday for game one of their important National League Central series.

The Cincinnati Reds return home from a West Coast road trip and they have work to do if they want to catch the Pirates in the division race. While the Reds look comfortable for the NL Wildcard they are 4-6 in their last 10 games, 32-17 at home this season, and they are six games off the lead in the NL Central. As a team the Reds are hitting .251, with Joey Votto hitting .317, Shin-Soo Choo hitting .283, and Jay Bruce hitting .278. The Reds pitching staff has a 3.30 ERA, with the starters at 3.26 and the bullpen at 3.38. For game one against the Cards Cincinnati starts Bronson Arroyo, who starts at home for the first time in four starts. For the season Arroyo has allowed 132 hits and 50 earned runs, while striking out 76 over 138 innings for a 9-8 record and a 3.26 ERA.

Cincinnati Reds vs. St. Louis Cardinals Free Pick - 8/2/2013

David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports

The St. Louis Cardinals are having a miserable road trip as they left with the lead in the NL Central and they are currently in second place and reeling. The Cardinals are 3-7 in their last 10 games, 31-27 on the road this year, and 1.5 games back in the NL Central. As a team the Cardinals are hitting .271 with Yadier Molina hitting .330, Allen Craig hitting .316, and Matt Carpenter hitting .311. The Cardinals pitching staff has an ERA of 3.44 with the starters at 3.31 and the bullpen at 3.76. For Friday’s game, the Cardinals start Shelby Miller who is coming off of a loss in his last start. For the season Miller has allowed 97 hits and 36 earned runs, while striking out 124 over 116.1 innings for a 10-7 record and a 2.79 ERA.

Cincinnati is 6-2 in their last eight games against a right-handed starter, 1-5 in their last six games overall, and 9-3 in Arroyo’s last 12 starts. St. Louis is 21-10 in their last 31 game one of a series, 0-7 in their last seven road games, and 6-2 in Miller’s last eight starts in game one of a series. St. Louis has won four of the last five meetings against Cincinnati.

Expect a battle on the mound, but I see the bats taking over and my first free pick is on the over. My second free pick is on the winning side and I will give out that FREE PICK on Friday’s 1stQuarter Podcast.

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Over 8

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