My underdog pick came up just short last night, with the Dodgers falling 2-1 at home to the Atlanta Braves (nice job Kyle on the UNDER pick though). Tonight we will try to get back in the MLB winning column with an ESPN Sunday night baseball pick featuring two Central division rivals, Cincinnati and St. Louis in the rubber match of their weekend series.
Today’s Free Pick:
St. Louis Cardinals -112 at Cincinnati Reds +105 (Total: 8.5)
Lance Lynn (8-1, 2.76 ERA) vs. Bronson Arroyo (6-5, 3.38 ERA)
The Reds evened up the series to pull back to just three games behind the major league wins leader in the Central Division, but it wasn’t without some controversy. The final out of the game appeared to have pulled Joey Votto’s foot a few inches off the bag, however, out was called and the game ended 4-2 while Mike Matheny argued futilely on the field.
Tonight, the Cards try to rebound from a frustrating loss, and have to feel good about their chances sending 8-1 Lance Lynn to the hill. Lynn has been fantastic in his last three starts, posting a 2-0 record with a 1.35 ERA and a WHIP of just 0.90. Meanwhile, the Reds counter with Arroyo, who has also been very good this season, but not nearly as dominant as Lynn – Arroyo is more of an innings-eater and finesse guy, but by the end of the season, his number of quality starts is usually right up there with the second top-tier of National League pitchers.
The Cardinals have been a tough matchup for most pitchers, with their deep lineup and ability to extend rallies, but they have been especially tough for Arroyo over his lengthy tenure as division foes. He is just 8-15 with a 4.55 ERA in 35 lifetime appearances. He will need to give the Reds much better innings tonight, especially with Lynn on the mound.
Despite some of Arroyo’s struggles with the Cards in the past, 8.5 feels like a pretty big number tonight. The Reds last three appearances against Lynn have all been well under the run total (6,5,6) with Lynn being a primary reason why, of course. In fact, only three of the Reds vs. Cardinals games have allowed more than six runs total. If you do averages, it bounces up near 7.5 or 8 because of the wacky 13-4 Reds win where nine runs scored in the 9th inning back in the first week of the season – but aside from that, these games have been much lower scoring than the two team’s potent offenses would typically predict.
I like this one staying in a reasonable threshold again tonight.
Free Pick: Run TOTAL UNDER 8.5