Reds vs. Cardinals Pick MLB – April 19th

We took a heartbreaking bad beat last night. With the Mets and Marlins just one strike away from paying out, the Marlins capped off a three-run ninth inning with a two-out, two-strike, two-run single to end up with four runs in the final two innings of a 5-4 loss. Jacob deGrom was brilliant, holding the Fish scoreless and Latos had a nice bounce back start, allowing just two runs in six innings. But the Mets bullie stunk it up late and the OVER was eclipsed in hte final meaningless moments.

Such is life in the MLB, and I’m sure it won’t be our only bad beat of the year, but they are still worth whining about once in a while. Let’s see if we can find a little more breathing room today and pik up a Sunday winner to cap off the week.

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Today’s Free MLB Pick:

Cincinnati Reds +165 at St. Louis Cardinals -180 (Total: 7)

Mike Leake (0-0, 4.98 ERA) vs. Adam Wainwright (1-0, 2.08 ERA)

The Cardinals have taken the first two games in this series by a combined margin of 11-3 and have only trailed for a brief half-inning in the series. More amazingly, this series win makes the Cardinals 1-21-1 in their last 23 series in St. Louis hosting the Reds. That’s pretty staggering dominance, especially in a sport like baseball where it seems like any team can take 2 of 3 when things line up well. The Cardinals simply OWN the Cincinnati Reds, especially in St. Louis.

To stack things further in their favor, ace Adam Wainwright gets the ball against the Reds’ Mike Leake. Wainwright struck out 21 Reds in 15 innings last year and enters tonight with a 17-inning scoreless streak against Cincinnati. Mike Leake is allowing a .303 batting average to current Cardinals, highlighted by Matt Adams’ career .444 average and Matt Holliday’s .389 – they’ve each homered and have 10 RBI in 54 combined career at-bats. At least he has handled Matt Carpernter (.214) who has killed the Reds this series and historically.

If you are looking for a reason to be counter the masses today, consider that Wainwright’s dominance of the Reds is a fairly recent trend. Facing the lineup more akin to the one he will see today; i.e. healthy, he had lost four straight decisions and posted a 8.05 ERA. Until last season, the Reds were actually the one team that DID hit Waino. Perhaps a little resurgence is in order tonight.

And it will need to be if ESPN is going to get a good ball game. With the way the Cards are rolling and the struggles Mike Leake has had against them, I expect them to score some runs. I’m going to go against the grain and think the Reds settle in somewhere between the last two years in their efforts against Wainwright and at least scratch out something. The OVER is 7-2 in Leake’s last 9 starts against St. Louis and the OVER is 9-3 overall in the Reds last 12 games against the Birds.

Free Pick: Run TOTAL OVER 7