We grabbed a third straight winner last night as the Cardinals continued steamrolling the National League by winning their tenth game in their last thirteen and sweeping the Marlins in Miami. The St. Louis offense sputtered in the first two weeks but is already back to its early 2016 level of production and has already climbed back to fourth in the National League in batting average at .261.
The Cardinals get the night off tonight before resuming play tomorrow in an exciting weekend series hosting the fourth-place Chicago Cubs. Can the Cards fire an interesting opening salvo in the NL Central race, or is this the weekend the Cubs kick it into gear and forge back atop the standings?
It is a relatively light day today with a few getaway day games in the American League and just three National League-only games. Our pick today focuses on the beginning of a series between a pair of teams whose season’s have gone in opposite fashion of predictions.
Today’s MLB Pick:
Cincinnati Reds +110 at San Francisco Giants -119 (Total: 8)
Bronson Arroyo (3-2, 6.53 ERA) vs. Ty Blatch (0-2, 5.66 ERA)
Bronson Arroyo’s 3-2 record is as much a function of the Cincinnati Reds blistering offensive start to the season as it is a Fountain of Youth springing up for the 40-year old hurler. Arroyo’s ERA is in the mid-sixes and he will be looking to turn in a quality start as some of the Reds starters begin to put some job pressure on him by returning from the Disabled List.
If he can turn in a quality outing, he has a good chance to find some success. These teams met in Cincinnati last weekend and the Reds swept the Giants, sending them to their largest run differential in a three game series sweep since the 1922 season. Beating a team worse than they’ve been beaten in a century is pretty good for the confidence, so I imagine the Reds hitters are eager to get to AT&T Park tonight.
Ty Blatch has struggled this season as well, posting an ERA in the high fives, only with a lot less run support than Arroyo has received. He may very well get some run support tonight against Bronson, but can he hold up his end of the bargain?
This game has “advantage batters” written all over it. I like both starters to surrender three or four runs each and for the bullpens to concede just enough to get this game safely over the total of just eight.
TODAY’S MLB PICK: RUN TOTAL OVER 8