Cardinals at Padres – Free Picks September 11th

St. Louis Cardinals -129 at San Diego Padres +120 (Total: 7)

Adam Wainwright vs. Edinson Volquez

After last night’s loss and the Reds 14-inning comeback win over the Pirates, it is safe to say that any remote fantasy of winning the National League Central has long subsided in St. Louis.  They are 9 ½ games back with less than three weeks to play.  That race is o-v-e-r.

However, the Cards remain a half-game ahead for the second wildcard spot and are in a tight race with the Dodgers and Pirates (and watch out for the Brewers lurking…)  From here on out, every game is critical, and getting blown out by teams like the Padres is absolutely disastrous to their playoff chances.  I expect them to come out and play significantly better tonight, but is it enough to wager on?  Let’s take a look at the numbers and see if we can earn our third straight cover.

Adam Wainwright has had a rough few outings.  He is 1-2 with a 8.98 ERA and a WHIP over 2.00 in his last three starts, lasting just 13.1 innings in the process.  That pulled his season ERA over 4.00 for the first time this season, but don’t let it fool you into thinking he’s been terrible this year.  Prior to his last two outings he had delivered a quality start in eight straight games.  Not many pitchers in the big leagues have gone on runs like that this season.  He is still a good pitcher, and I expect him to bounce back a bit in pitcher-friendly Petco Park.

Edinson Volquez is a little different story.  He has been fantastic at times this season.  He has been terrible at times this season.  And you never know exactly what you are going to get. Four times in his last ten starts he has gone more than seven innings and allowed two or less runs.  Five times in his last eight starts he has lasted less than five innings and given up five or more runs (twice not making it past the third inning).   Tonight he faces the toughest lineup in the National League.  I think he is going to have some struggles tonight.

Tonight is going to be a double-wager, and I love both.  First of all, the Cards are going to lay one on the Padres tonight.  Secondly, how on earth is this run total only seven?!?  This pitching matchup is an 8.5 or 9, and even factoring in the ballpark, a runline of 7 feels WAY too low.

Take the Cards to win, and take the OVER.  Enjoy a pair of wins.

Free Pick:  St. Louis Cardinals to WIN -129, Run TOTAL OVER 7 (-110)