What a wild ride in Cincinnati last night between the Cardinals and Reds. A 7-0 lead wasn’t enough for the Reds, as they coughed up the lead after allowing 10 runs in just one inning. Cincinnati would go on to tack on another 2 runs in the following inning to take a 5-run lead in the blink of an eye. One minute the Reds are up by 7 runs and the next they’re down by 5. Starting pitcher, Tyler Mahle, was rolling until he hit a major snag.
Mahle allowed 4 earned runs in the 6th inning after pitching scoreless baseball in the previous 5 frames. When he got pulled, the bleeding didn’t stop with the bullpen throwing more gasoline on the flames. Cincinnati have typically had a reliable bullpen compared to the rest of the competition in the major leagues, but there was nothing positive to speak of last night. The game ultimately came down to the wire, with the Reds coming up just short of a comeback bid of their own.
The Cardinals have done a nice job in the past couple of months in the National League. They’re in possession of a wildcard as it stands today, and they’re only 2.5 games behind the Cubs for 1st. They’ve successfully reeled the Brewers in and have a half game lead on them.
The Cardinals weren’t playing like a postseason team at all earlier in the season, but that’s why it’s best not to draw conclusions early in the year. I will say, though, they have other teams to thank in the National League as well. At 50-46, that doesn’t look like a postseason team. In any event, the Cards churn on and will look to make it two in a row over the Reds on Saturday. Miles Mikolas will spearhead that effort for the Cards, while ace Luis Castillo will get the call for the Reds. Head below for our free Cardinals vs. Reds pick.
St. Louis Cardinals vs. Cincinnati Reds Pick:
Betting odds provided by bovada.lv
Luis Castillo might be the biggest bargain in baseball this season. There are a few out there, but Castillo’s production does laps around his salary. While Castillo is making $557,000 a season, he is pitching like it should be around $30 million. JV and Scherzer are both earning approximately $30 million. Verlander has a 2.99 ERA and Scherzer a 2.30 ERA, while Castillo is right there with an ERA of 2.41 and 1.12 WHIP.
If he keeps pitching like this, he’s going to rake in the big bucks soon. He’s been pitching like a $30 million guy recently, with a 1.74 ERA and 0.87 WHIP in his previous three contests. Castillo has allowed just 4 runs in 20.2 innings of play. The majority of his success has come at the Great American Ballpark. Castillo owns a stellar 1.69 ERA and 0.88 WHIP in 64 innings at home. In a park that usually hands out a lot of souvenirs in the outfield, Castillo has yielded only 2 long balls here.
Castillo also has a tremendous history against the Cards in his career. They haven’t been able to generate much contact against him, as they are hitting just .194 in 139 at-bats. Conversely, the Reds are hitting .311 against Mikolas in 90 at-bats. Mikolas has been getting totalled on the road, as he enters Cincinnati with a 7.40 ERA and 1.67 WHIP on the road. Expect to see Castillo pitching better than Mikolas on Saturday. After blowing a 7-run lead, the Reds are going to be in better control with Castillo at the helm in this one. The Reds look like the play in this spot.