MLB odds: Cardinals vs. Reds prediction, odds, pick, and more
The St. Louis Cardinals will travel to the state of Ohio to take on the Cincinnati Reds in the first game of their three-game series. It’s time to continue our MLB odds series and make a Cardinals-Reds prediction and pick.
It has been hard to separate these two division rivals this season. The Reds are currently in second place of the National League Central with a 49-47 record. Meanwhile, the Cardinals are just 0.5 games behind with a 49-48 record. Therefore, expect a game filled with intensity and drama as both teams look to make positive strides in their division.
Here’s how sportsbooks have set the Cardinals-Reds odds.
MLB Odds: Cardinals-Reds Odds
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St. Louis Cardinals +1.5 (-140)
Cincinnati Reds -1.5 (+120)
Over 9.5 runs (-110)
Under 9.5 runs (-110)
Why The Reds Could Cover The Spread
The Reds are in the bottom third of the league when it comes to covering the run line. They have a run line record of 42-54. Furthermore, that number becomes worse when they are the home team. While playing at the Great American Ball Park, the Reds cover only 34.7% of the time, which is the lowest in the MLB in such circumstances.
Cincinnati plans to give the right-hander Tyler Mahle his 20th start of the season. The 26-year-old is 7-3 on the year and has a 3.93 ERA. However, when playing at home, Mahle’s ERA increases to 6.48. He is 2-0 (one on the road, one at home) in his last two starts against the Cardinals this season, where he has pitched 12 combined innings, allowing nine hits and four earned runs.
Back-to-back pitches, back-to-back bangs. pic.twitter.com/i3pHaQO8Ju
— Cincinnati Reds (@Reds) July 21, 2021
Most of the success the Reds have had this season is to be credited to their offense. Cincinnati ranks in the top ten for both batting average and hits per game at .246 and 8.28, respectively.
Individually, Nick Castellanos has had the biggest impact from the batters box for the Reds this season. He leads the team with a .329 batting average and 59 RBIs. Additionally, he also has tallied 18 homers this season.
The Reds will need a strong game at home from Tyler Mahle and for Castellanos to add to his home run numbers to maintain second place in the NL Central.
Why The Cardinals Could Cover The Spread
The Cardinals’ record against the run-line falls hand in hand with their overall wins and losses at 49-48. However, as an underdog, they cover 57.7% of the time.
St. Louis plans to give Wade LeBlanc his fifth start of the season. The left-hander is 0-2 this season and has a 4.31 ERA. However, since coming over from the Orioles in June, LeBlanc has looked far more impressive. He has an ERA of 2.92 in his 23.5 innings pitched for the Cardinals this season. In the 36-year-olds last start, he threw 82 pitches and allowed one earned run in five innings.
The Cardinals offense has not lived up to expectations this season, considering their signings in the offseason. They rank in the bottom third of the league in nearly every standard batting statistic, including runs per game, batting average, RBIs, and home runs per game.
No doubter from Nolan 😳 pic.twitter.com/Lm3lx9T4L4
— St. Louis Cardinals (@Cardinals) July 23, 2021
Individually, St Louis has been carried by Nolan Arenardo offensively. He leads the team with 56 RBIs and 19 home runs.
If the Cardinals are to steal second place in the NL Central from the Reds, they will need to find their focus at the batters box and get another strong start out of their newly signed veteran pitcher.
Final Cardinals-Reds Prediction & Pick
The Cardinals are playing their best baseball of the season. They are 5-2 since the All Star Break and have won their last four games as an underdog. They will likely be able to continue their momentum in a hitter’s friendly park. Meanwhile, the Cincinnati Reds 1-5 since starting the second half of the season.
For those reasons, the St. Louis Cardinals will not only cover the run line, but they will steal the win and second place in the National League Central.
FINAL PICK: St. Louis Cardinals ML (+144)