St. Louis Cardinals vs. Cincinnati Reds Free Pick 8/26/13
Cincinnati Reds (73-57) at St. Louis Cardinals (75-54)
MLB Baseball: Monday, August 26, 2013 at 7:05 pm (Busch Stadium)
Mike Leake (R) (11-5) (3.120) vs. Tyler Lyons (L) (2-4) (5.354)
The Line: St. Louis Cardinals -111 / Cincinnati Reds +101 --- Over/Under: 8 See the Latest Odds
TV: FS-Ohio, FS-Midwest
The St. Louis Cardinals and the Cincinnati Reds face off on Monday in St. Louis for game one of their important NL Central series.
The St. Louis Cardinals are breathing down the neck of the first place Pirates in the NL Central, but this race is far from over. The Cardinals are 7-3 in their last 10 games, 39-24 at home this season, and they are a half of a game behind the Pirates. As a team the Cardinals are hitting .272 with Yadier Molina hitting .335, Allen Craig and Matt Carpenter hitting .313, and Carlos Beltran is hitting .309. As a team the Cardinals pitching staff has an ERA of 3.49 with the starters at 3.42 and the bullpen at 3.62. For game one against the Reds, the Cardinals start Tyler Lyons, who has just one appearance, two innings out of the bullpen, since July. For the season, Lyons has allowed 40 hits and 23 earned runs while striking out 28 over 40.2 innings for a 2-4 record and a 5.09 ERA.
Frank Victores-USA TODAY Sports
The Cincinnati Reds are in the mix in the NL Central and while they have a big lead for the second Wildcard spot in the national League, they know there is a big advantage to being a division winner. The Reds are 5-5 in their last 10 games, 33-34 on the road this season, and they are three games behind the Pirates. As a team the Reds are hitting .249 with Joey Votto hitting .314, Shin-Soo Choo hitting .278, and Brandon Phillips and Jay Bruce both hitting .266. The Reds pitching staff has an ERA of 3.37 with the starters at 3.30 and the bullpen at 3.50. For game one at St. Louis, the Reds start Mike Leake who is coming off of a run supported win in his last start. For the season Leake has allowed 156 hits and 55 earned runs while striking out 96 over 158.2 innings for a 11-5 record and a 3.12 ERA.
St. Louis is 4-2 in their last six games, 44-20 following a loss, and 0-5 in Lyons’ last five starts. Cincinnati is 7-1 following a loss, 13-6 in their last 19 games, and 8-3 in Leake’s last 11 road starts. Cincinnati is 16-35 in their last 51 games in St. Louis.
I like the Reds here to hit Lyons hard, but the Reds have played poorly in St. Louis so it prevents this from being a Premium Pick, but I am still on the Reds.