We made it three straight yesterday and did so in easy, easy fashion. We had money in the bank before the Saints and Falcons finished the first quarter and before Donald and Hillary had uttered a single word. The Reds absolutely jumped ALL OVER the St. Louis Cardinals, dealing them an embarrassing and damaging defeat. The run total was gone by the top of the third as the Cardinals bizarre home woes were exacerbated. The loss leaves them a full game back of the Giants and 1 ½ back of the Mets with just six to play. All three are in action tonight and the pressure is ramping up…
The best story of the night from the “you can’t make this stuff up, and if you did you’d be laughed off the movie set” department, Dee Gordon’s massive leadoff homerun – the furthest ball he has hit in his major league career – in the first at bat since the tragic passing of beloved teammate Jose Fernandez was one of the greatest things I have ever seen. The tears flooding his face as he crossed the plate were contagious, and the ballpark, team, fans everywhere – shared a cathartic moment of simultaneous sorrow, tribute and joy.
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Today’s Free Pick:
Cincinnati Reds +200 at St. Louis Cardinals -210 (Total: 8.5)
Robert Stevenson (2-2, 5.59 ERA) vs. Adam Wainwright (12-9, 4.57 ERA)
I’m not a huge fan of going to the same well two days in a row, but this well just seems to profitable to wander away too far. The Reds humiliated the Cards yesterday in a 15-2 defeat, so you can expect the Cards bats to be ready to go tonight. They face rookie Robert Stevenson who has excellent stuff but an ERA in the high-fives for his young career. Facing one of the best lineups in the NL tonight isn’t an easy spot for his final (likely) start of the season.
Meanwhile, Adam Wainwright has not enjoyed a nice 2016 comeback season. His ERA is over four and a half and it is even worse against Cincinnati. He is 0-1 with a 6.06 ERA in three starts this season. I expect the Reds, who have been putting up some offense behind Joey Votto’s historic second half of the season, to also get some runs.
Tired (or below average) bullpens, talented lineups and questionable starting pitchers? I’ll take the OVER please. 8.5 is a reasonable number and I’d have considered this one at 9 even. Look for both offenses to rule the night and for another long affair in Busch. I’d also consider the Reds at double your money, just for the sheer massiveness of the value. It is my secondary play, but too rich a payout to ignore considering Wainwright’s difficulties with Cincinnati this season and the Cardinals dreadful home record.