The Cincinnati Reds ended a four-game losing streak and five-game winning streak last night. The Reds went into Thursday night on a skid, with four losses in a row before a brilliant performance by Sonny Gray. Gray was efficient through 5 innings of work, having allowed just 1 hit and no runs. The bullpen was able to take it from there and neutralize the Cardinals with 4 innings of strong pitching.
A leadoff walk by the Cardinals in the 9th inning by Marcell Ozuna provided a brief moment of concern, though. It feels like there is never an easy inning these days for closers in tight games. Rasiel Iglesias was able to get out of the jam after surrendering a 1-run Kolten Wong double to cut it to a 1-run game. Close call but nothing is easy now. More than ever it seems, games aren’t over until 3 outs are recorded in the 9th inning. Just look at the Cubs and Phillies last night.
With that final score of 2-1 in Cincinnati, the Cardinals had their five-game winning streak come to an end. It was a nice run by the Cardinals to put themselves in a tie with the Cubs for the top of the NL Central. Along with the division, the Cardinals can get into the postseason with a wildcard berth. They’re a game up on the Brewers for the final wildcard in the National League.
The Cardinals benefitted from a Bryce Harper grand slam in the 9th last night. With the bases loaded and the Phillies down by 2, Harper demolished a ball into right field for the walk-off blast. The Cubs would have taken sole control of the division with a win, though Bryce had other plans. Adam Wainwright will get the starting nod for the Cards, while ace Luis Castillo is expected to counter for the Reds. Head below for our free Cardinals vs. Reds pick.
St. Louis Cardinals vs. Cincinnati Reds Pick:
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Adam Wainwright have given the Cardinals some solid innings this season. He hasn’t been in pre-2015 form, but I doubt we see that from him again following all of his injuries. In any event, Wainwright has been serviceable enough to have in their starting rotation. Wainwright has a postseason pedigree in his resume, including a stellar 2006 World Series over the Tigers, so an experienced arm should help the Cardinals.
He has to help them get there first, though. The Reds have been a tricky assignment for Wainwright in his career. They’re hitting .322 with a .416 OBP in 118 at-bats. That includes 8 home runs and 25 runs scored on Wainwright. He hasn’t had his ERA below 4.00 since 2014 where Wainwright was electric with an ERA of 2.38.
Then the injuries came the following year and he hasn’t been the same guy. Pitching in opposing parks has been a minefield for him in 2019. While he’s been a major contributor at home, with a 2.19 ERA in 65.2 innings, his numbers have fallen off considerably on the road. Wainwright holds an ERA of 6.96 and 1.62 WHIP in 54.1 innings on the road in 2019.
Wainwright has a tough order of business against Luis Castillo this evening. Castillo has enjoyed a breakout campaign in 2019, with an ERA of 2.69 and 1.11 WHIP. He’s been effective at home, posting a 2.35 ERA and 0.94 WHIP in Cincinnati across 95.2 innings of work.
Also note that the Cards are hitting just .215 against him in 144 at-bats. In his last meeting against the Cards, Castillo was sharp with just 1-run allowed in 6 innings. The Reds went on for a 3-2 victory. I like the Reds to help out the Cubs out again tonight with a win.