St. Louis Cardinals (50-50) at Cincinnati Reds (44-56)
|Date & Time||Wednesday July 25, 2018, 12:35 PM (EDT)|
The Line: Cincinnati Reds +110 / St. Louis Cardinals -132 --- Over/Under: 9.5
The St. Louis Cardinals and the Cincinnati Reds square off in the rubber match of their three game NL Central division set from Great American Ballpark in MLB action on Wednesday.
The St. Louis Cardinals will look to win the series after evening the set up at one win apiece following a 4-2 win in extra innings on Tuesday. Dexter Fowler led the Cards by going 1 for 3 with a home run and two RBIs, while Yairo Munoz and Jose Martinez each added an RBI with Munoz adding a double. Paul DeJong and Marcell Ozuna each had a double while Yadier Molina, Tommy Pham and starting pitcher Austin Gomber each added a base hit in the win. Gomber was solid in his major league debut, giving up both runs on two hits while striking out six over 6.1 innings of work. Sam Tuivailala got the win to improve to 3-3 this season while Bud Norris picked up his 19th save of the season. Jack Flaherty will start game three and is 4-4 with a 3.15 ERA and 96 strikeouts this season. In his career, Flaherty is 0-1 with a 3.97 ERA and 10 strikeouts against Cincinnati.
The Cincinnati Reds will look to rebound after ending up on the losing end in game two on Tuesday. Eugenio Suarez belted a two run home run for his 21st long ball of the season, accounting for both Cincinnati runs in the loss. Jose Peraza, Billy Hamilton, Joey Votto and Adam Duvall each added a base hit as the Reds cranked out just five hits as a team in the loss. Homer Bailey gave up two runs on five hits while striking out eight, not factoring in the decision. Amir Garrett took the loss to fall to 0-2 this season. Sal Romano will start game three and is 5-8 with a 5.19 ERA and 74 strikeouts this season. This will be Romano’s second career start against St. Louis.
St. Louis is 1-5 in Flaherty’s last 6 starts and 2-5 in their last 7 road games while the over is 8-1 in their last 9 games overall. Cincinnati is 1-4 in their last 5 games overall and 1-4 in their last 5 division matchups while the over is 4-0-1 in Romano’s last 5 starts overall. St. Louis is 17-5 in the last 22 meetings between these two teams and 11-2 in the last 13 meetings between these two teams in Cincinnati.
There was a time where Flaherty was going through a rough patch where the Cardinals lost five straight starts by Flaherty, including a start against these same Reds. However, Flaherty threw five shutout innings in that start before the Cardinals’ bullpen let them down late. While plus money at home with Cincinnati is tempting with how well they’ve been playing over the last month, the fact is that Romano is still hard to trust and the Cardinals have enough going offensively to take the set here.