Brewers at Cardinals – Free Pick August 5th

Milwaukee Brewers +148 at St. Louis Cardinals -158 (Total: 8.5)

Marco Estrada (0-4, 4.34 ERA) vs. Kyle Lohse (11-2, 2.91 ERA)

At this point, the Cincinnati Reds are pushing their division lead to the point where the Cardinals might as well stop scoreboard watching for a while.  But the Cardinals, who enter today a full eight games back in the National League Central, might not be too terribly disappointed by the weekend’s results, as the latest victim of the Reds scorching play is the team the Cards are chasing both in the division and wildcard standings, the Pittsburgh Pirates.  The Cards are now just two and half games behind Pittsburgh for the final wildcard spot, and have to like their chances.

They also have to like their chances tonight with Kyle Lohse on the mound.  Very quietly, Lohse has been the most consistent Cardinal starter all season long.  Lohse is in the top ten in ERA and boasts an 11-2 record.  The Cards are an impressive 15-7 in games in which he has started, and have won the last four times he has taken the hill.  Things have not gone as well for his opponent tonight, to say the least…

Marco Estrada has yet to earn a win in his twelve starts this season, with an 0-4 record.  His team is just 4-8 in games he’s pitched and his ERA is an even 5.00 over his last three starts.  It is not an ideal matchup for the Brewers tonight on Sunday night baseball.

The Cardinals have won four of five and seven of their last ten.  They’ve actually played really good baseball since the All Star break, it has just gone unnoticed with Cincinnati’s 16-3 mark, which has pushed the Cards from three games back to eight games in the last three weeks.

The trends all favor the Cards tonight,  which is reflected in the -158 line.  I am not a big fan of laying more than about 1.5:1 on any baseball wager, but I also try to pick the Sunday Night Game of the Week each week, to be of the most benefit to our readers… so tonight’s pick is a tough one.  We are riding a nice four game win streak, a streak built on solid picks and not simply backing favorites, but in finding good money value lines.

If you want to get some real value in tonight’s game, look at the Cardinals on the -1.5 runline.  It is possible to scared off by the fact that four of the teams’ eight matchups have been decided by one run this season, but remember that two of those four involved Zach Greinke… who ain’t taking the mound in Milwaukee anytime soon.  Instead?  They are sending a guy who hasn’t won a single game ALL SEASON to face a top-ten ERA guy in a ballpark his team has played .800 baseball in the past month.

I like the Cards to win, but am also going to stake our nearly week-long winning streak on a double-up wager on the runline and grab some real value at +135.

Free Pick:  St. Louis Cardinals to WIN -158 & St. Louis -1.5 (+135)

Chris Scheeren / Author