Thursday’s in the world of MLB typically translate into split slates. That’s what we have on deck today with five afternoon tilts and eight games on the evening docket. Here are the three games we will be focusing on for this evening’s parlay ticket.
First up is the opener of a four-game set between National League Central rivals. The St. Louis Cardinals will be spending the weekend in Cincinnati for a series with the Reds. Through seven meetings this season, the Cardinals hold a 4-3 edge over the Reds.
The next game on our ticket is the series opener for the top two teams in the National League East. The Washington Nationals are in Atlanta for the first of four with the Braves. Atlanta holds a 6.5-game lead over Washington as this series gets underway.
The last game we’ll be zeroing in on is a meeting of two top squads in the American League. The Oakland Athletics head to Minnesota for a four-game weekend set with the Twins. The visitors are riding a six-game winning streak as they get set for tonight’s game, while the hosts have dropped three in a row.
The schedule is a little on the light side tonight, but we have three quality contests to look forward to. Let’s take a look at all of them in full detail, starting with the clash in Cincinnati.
*Betting odds provided by: Sportsbetting.ag
St. Louis Cardinals vs. Cincinnati Reds, 7:10 PM EST, MLBN
Cardinals vs. Reds Pick:
The Cardinals opened up the week at home with a series versus the Pittsburgh Pirates. They took two of three, including a 6-5 win in the finale. The Reds were in Chicago for three with the Cubs. After taking the opener by a score of 6-3, they dropped the final two games of the set.
|St. Louis||48-46||W1||6-4||3-NL Central||418||407|
St. Louis opens up an eight-game road trip with tonight’s game. For the year, the club is 20-26 in away games. Cincinnati will be home for this series before hitting the road once again. On the season, the team has a record of 24-21 at home.
The Reds have the edge on the long ball and have been more productive over the last five games, but the two offenses are pretty close overall. Marcell Ozuna leads the way for the Cardinals with a .259 BA, 20 homers, and 62 RBIs. Paul Goldschmidt has 18 dongs and 43 ribbies on the year. Jose Iglesias is batting .282 to lead Cincinnati. Eugenio Suarez is tops on the team with 23 HRs and 58 RBIs.
Hudson has been demonstrating good consistency with three earned runs or less allowed for each of his last 10 appearances. For his last outing, he gave up two over six innings in a win over the Arizona Diamondbacks. Roark has picked up three straight no-decisions, and he was tagged pretty well in the last two. He gave up seven earned runs over 4.2 innings on the road versus the Colorado Rockies.
The bullpens are pretty close to being a wash as well, but a slight edge goes to St. Louis. Hudson has pitched five innings or more for nine of his last 10 outings. Roark has hit the same benchmark for nine of his last 10 games.
St. Louis enters this series having won four of their last five, while Cincinnati is 2-3 over the same span. Roark’s poor outing last time out came at run-happy Coors Field, but we’d still like to see him settle down for a start before banking on him. We like the Cardinals for game one on our ticket.
Washington Nationals vs. Atlanta Braves, 7:20 PM EST, FSSE
Nationals vs. Braves Pick:
The Nationals started the week in Baltimore splitting two with the Orioles. An 8-1 win on Tuesday was followed by a 9-2 defeat yesterday. The Braves were in Milwaukee dropping two of three to the Brewers. A 4-2 win in the opener was followed by two losses by a combined score of 18-5.
Washington closes out a nine-game road swing with this series. They’re 3-2 thus far and check in with a mark of 24-24 in away games for the year. Atlanta starts a six-game homestand with tonight’s tilt. They’re 28-19 on the home field for the year.
The overall advantage at the plate goes to the Braves, but the offenses have been in line for the past five games. Anthony Rendon leads the way for the Nationals with a .311 BA, 20 homers, and 64 RBIs. Juan Soto has chipped in with 17 HRs and 61 ribbies. For the Braves, Freddie Freeman is tops with a .297 BA, 25 dongs, and 74 RBIs. Ronald Acuna Jr. has 23 homers and 55 RBIs thus far.
Strasburg has really been dealing over his last two starts. He has allowed zero earned runs over 13.1 innings while fanning 20 batters, picking up the win both times. Teheran has been pretty consistent of late, but he also hasn’t had a victory since June 13. For his last start, he gave up two earned runs over six innings in a no-decision versus the San Diego Padres.
There’s no contest here. Atlanta has the clear advantage as the Washington pen is one of the poorest in MLB. Strasburg has pitched six innings or more for his last four starts. Teheran has lasted six innings for his last two outings, but he had a string of three short stints prior to that.
The Nationals will be looking to chip away at the Braves lead for this series, while the Braves are on a mission to do the opposite. The Washington bullpen always makes us nervous, but it’s tough to argue with Strasburg’s recent performance. We’re rolling with the Nationals for game two on our ticket.
Oakland Athletics vs. Minnesota Twins, 8:10 PM EST, FSN
Athletics vs. Twins Pick:
Oakland was home to start the week for a quick two-game set with the Seattle Mariners. They hammered the visitors, winning both games by a combined score of 19-4. Minnesota was home for two with the Mets. It didn’t go well as they lost both by a combined 17-6.
Oakland begins a seven-game road trip with tonight’s game. For the year, the club is 24-21 in away games. Minnesota kicked off a nine-game homestand with the two losses to the Mets. On the season, the team is 28-17 at home.
Minnesota has the overall advantage, but Oakland has had the hotter bats of late. Matt Chapman leads the Athletics with a .279 BA, 22 HRs, and 59 RBIs. He’s day-to-day after leaving Wednesday’s game with an ankle issue. Matt Olson has 20 homers thus far. Jorge Polanco is batting .307 to lead the Twins. Max Kepler leads with 23 HRs, while Eddie Rosario is tops with 61 RBIs.
Fiers has been on a real solid run for the last month with one earned run or less allowed for five straight starts. Last time out, he held the Chicago White Sox off the scoreboard for 7.2 innings to get the win. Gibson has been strong this year, but he hasn’t picked up a victory since June 25. For his last outing, he gave up an earned run over 3.2 innings in a no-decision versus the Cleveland Indians.
The Athletics have the overall advantage, but the bullpens aren’t too far apart. Fiers has lasted six innings or more for 10 straight starts. Gibson has had a number of short appearances recently, but he has lasted five innings or more for six of his last 10 games.
The Athletics are hot right now, while the Twins are not. That could change over the course of the series, but we’ll look for those trends to continue for at least another night as Fiers has been quite impressive recently. We’ll take Oakland for the final game on tonight’s ticket.