St. Louis Cardinals (0-0) at Cincinnati Reds (0-0)
MLB Baseball: Thursday, April 1, 2021 at 4:10 pm (Great American Ball Park)
Jack Flaherty (0-0) (0.00) vs. Luis Castillo (0-0) (0.00)
The Line: Cincinnati Reds -115 / St. Louis Cardinals +105 --- Over/Under: 7.5 Click to Get Latest Betting Odds
The St. Louis Cardinals and Cincinnati Reds meet Thursday in MLB Opening Day action at Great American Ball Park.
The St. Louis Cardinals are coming off a 30-win season that ended in the NL Wild Card Series. The Cardinals lost a couple of players to free agency, but they made a big splash by trading for star third baseman Nolan Arenado, and he not only helps defensively but gives Paul Goldschmidt some insurance in the batting order. The Cardinals starting pitching was ninth in both ERA and WHIP, and they have a respectable trio at the top in Jack Flaherty, Adam Wainwright and Carlos Martinez. For the most part the Cards are the same team from last year and this is a legit contender in the NL Central. Jack Flaherty gets the ball, and he was 4-3 with a 4.91 ERA and 49 strikeouts last season. Flaherty is 2-2 with a 2.48 ERA and 34 strikeouts in his career against the Reds.
The Cincinnati Reds are coming off a 31-win season where they made the playoffs for the first time since 2013. The Reds finished last season ranked 30th in batting average and 27th in runs scored, and they didn’t do much to improve the batting lineup. However, Joey Votto, Eugenio Suárez and Nick Castellanos are still more than respectable bats and should help a turnaround offensively. The Reds were led by their pitching staff last season, and the starting rotation gets a boost from the addition of Jeff Hoffman. The Reds bullpen added Sean Doolittle, Cam Bedrosian, Cionel Pérez and Carson Fulmer. Luis Castillo gets the ball, and he was 4-6 with a 3.21 ERA and 89 strikeouts last season. Castillo is 4-4 with a 3.84 ERA and 64 strikeouts in his career against the Cardinals.
The Cardinals are 2-5 in their last 7 Thursday games and 7-2 in their last 9 vs. National League Central. The Reds are 9-2 in their last 11 games as a favorite and 8-2 in their last 10 home games. The over is 4-1 in Cardinals last 5 road games. The under is 6-2 in Reds last 8 home games. The Cardinals are 20-8 in the last 28 meetings in Cincinnati.
The St. Louis Cardinals have owned the Reds over the years for the most part, especially in Cincinnati, and Flaherty has been dominant against this Reds lineup in his last couple of starts. The Cincinnati Reds didn't have a ton of success in spring training, and while it's spring training, it should be noted and it could take this team a few games to get in the swing of things. We're getting value with the Cardinals and the slight plus money. I'll take it.