The Cincinnati Reds and St. Louis Cardinals will wrap up a three-game series on Sunday at Busch Stadium. The Cardinals are looking to close things out with a sweep of the Reds. They have notched a 5-4 and 2-0 win going into Sunday afternoon. John Gant had a big performance for the Cardinals yesterday. Gant pitched 6 innings of scoreless baseball, allowing just 3 hits in the 2-0 win.
Genesis Cabrera and Giovanny Gallegos did their part out of the bullpen for the Cardinals. The 3 hits against Gant were the only hits that the Reds recorded in the game. The Reds got on the board with 4 runs on Friday, but Sonny Gray didn’t hold up on the hill. Gray conceded 6 hits and 5 earned runs through 3.2 innings for a 5-4 loss. The Reds’ bullpen did their best to save Gray, but the damage was already done.
The Reds and Cardinals are in an incredibly competitive division in the NL Central. This division is there for the taking, and likely should feature a tight race in August. The Milwaukee Brewers currently lead the NL Central with a record of 12-8. The Brewers haven’t looked particularly hot despite owning a two-game lead in the division. We’re less than a month into the regular season, so leads don’t mean much at the moment.
The Cardinals, Cubs, and Pirates all have 10 wins while the Reds trail with a record of 9-11. If the Reds are going to break through and win the NL Central, it’s going to require a big season from Luis Castillo. Trevor Bauer isn’t in Cincinnati any longer, so Castillo is going to be depended on to be a driving force in the rotation for the Reds. That hasn’t been the case thus far for Castillo, who is coming off a productive 2020 campaign.
Castillo had a solid start against the Pittsburgh Pirates, but has otherwise been out of form on the hill this season. He is expected to get the call for the Reds in the series finale against the Cards in St. Louis. The Cardinals are handing the ball to Flaherty to try to get the sweep at home. Flaherty has been adequate through three assignments in 2021. Head below for our free Reds vs. Cardinals pick on April 25, 2021.
Cincinnati Reds vs. St. Louis Cardinals MLB Betting Odds:
Reds vs. Cardinals Prediction:
Luis Castillo opened the season against the Cardinals and was torched out of the gate. Castillo lasted 3.1 innings on the bump after giving up 8 hits and 8 earned runs. The Cardinals scored a total of 10 runs with 2 runs unearned. That was a consolation for Castillo, who couldn’t locate his spots and was throwing up meatballs for the Cardinals to hit. The Cards ultimately went on for a 11-6 win. Castillo was able to get his feet underneath him in his next start against the Pirates.
He gave up 4 hits and no earned runs in 7 innings. After the disaster against St. Louis, Castillo needed a performance like that in a big way. However, Castillo was unable to settle in against the Giants in his next outing, this time giving up 7 hits and 4 earned runs in 5 innings. He received a no-decision in that game, a 7-6 loss, and then another no-decision against the Diamondbacks in his most recent outing on Tuesday.
The numbers are a bit deceptive for Castillo in his most recent tilt. He gave up only 1 earned run, but 3 runs in total, and runners were finding their way on the bases regularly against him in that performance. Castillo conceded 7 hits and 3 walks through 4 innings. He was fortunate to get out of that game with only 1 earned run on his resume. Overall, Castillo enters Sunday with an ERA of 6.05 and 1.66 WHIP. He’s gotten touched up for a 7.20 ERA and 1.40 WHIP in 5 innings on the road. The Cardinals are hitting .318 with 8 home runs and 26 RBI in 147 at-bats versus Castillo.
Jack Flaherty steps in with a chance to lead the Cardinals to a sweep tonight. Flaherty has been serviceable with an ERA of 3.80 and 1.13 WHIP through four starts and 21.3 innings of work. He had a rough opener, but Flaherty has responded nicely in his previous three outings. After giving up 6 runs in Cincinnati, Flaherty has posted an ERA of 1.59 and 0.94 WHIP. He’s been much better at home with a 1.80 ERA and 0.60 WHIP this season. This was the case last year, where Flaherty had a 9.45 ERA on the road and 2.67 ERA at home. Flaherty has generally been good against the Reds, holding them to a .245 batting average throughout his career. I’d look at the Cardinals to get the sweep over the Reds.