The St. Louis Cardinals are hanging in tough, as they hope to overcome the Chicago Cubs as the class of the National League Central. The Cards were known as the class of the division for a while. The Cubs were the cursed chokers, while St. Louis ran the table. It isn’t just the Cubs that the Cardinals have to worry about this season.
The Brewers are major threats, with a team built to win games and go far. With a bullpen like Milwaukee have, it’s tough to forget about them in the National League. When the offense gets hot, they’re going to be a tough out for any team. The Cubs and Brewers are currently dueling it out for first, while the Cards are 3 games behind. St. Louis blew a 6-4 lead in the 9th inning following a rain delay, but preserved a win by winning in extras.
Michael Wacha came close to winning a World Series with the Cardinals in 2013, but the Red Sox bested them in six games. Wacha played a significant role in helping the Cards get hot in 2013 as a rookie. It has actually been some of the best baseball of his career. He finished with an ERA of 2.78 in nine starts, so his future was looking promising.
Wacha was solid over the next two years, but wasn’t able to match his rookie production. 2016 and 2017 were meh for Wacha, as he finished with a 5.09 and 4.13 ERA. He finally looks to be getting back into shape this season, but we’ll see what the rest of the year has in store for him. Wacha will go opposite of Reds’ starter Luis Castillo. Head below for our free Cardinals vs. Reds pick on Saturday afternoon.
St. Louis Cardinals vs. Cincinnati Reds Pick
Michael Wacha (7-1, 2.41 ERA) vs. Luis Castillo (4-6, 5.64 ERA)
If Wacha keeps it rolling, he’s going to have the best year of his career. Remember, when he came on board in 2013, Wacha was called up from the minors. He only had nine starts, so it wasn’t a full workload for him. 2018 would be the first year he went the distance and held an ERA below 3.00. There’s a lot of time for him to watch those numbers go up, though. However, they have been going down of late.
Wacha has posted an ERA of 0.84, including a 0.61 WHIP and .169 OBA in his last three outings. In 21 innings, he’s allowed only 2 runs and 7 hits. He is coming off a near no-hitter, but the Pirates broke it up in the 9th for a frustrating miss. Wacha faced the Reds lineup earlier in the season at home and was dominant. The Reds scored just 1 run across 6.2 innings. St. Louis scored a 4-2 win.
Luis Castillo is getting opportunities in the rotation after fifteen solid starts in 2017 as a rookie. Castillo showed great flashes of potential, as he finished with a 3.12 ERA in 89.1 innings of work. Did he get too comfortable in the offseason? Because he’s looked like a totally different pitcher as a fulltime member of the rotation. The price in this game is a little perplexing, but it’s hard not to side with the Cardinals in this one against the lowly Reds.