There’s a lot at stake in a three-game series at Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati, so we’re taking a closer look at the middle clash set for Tuesday night with the first pitch at 6:40 PM ET to get you the best Cardinals vs. Reds betting pick.
Cincinnati entered this set as the second-best team in the NL Central and held the bottom wild card in the National League. St Louis was just 3.5 games behind the Reds, and the Cardinals are listed as +132 road dogs for Tuesday’s game. The Reds are -143 moneyline favorites on Bookmaker Sportsbook, while the totals sit at 9.0 runs.
The Cards have struggled as of late
Excluding their Monday night’s opener against the Reds, the St. Louis Cardinals have won only five of their last 12 games overall. During that stretch, the Cards have suffered four defeats against the hapless Pittsburgh Pirates while posting a solid 3.32 ERA and a mediocre .737 OPS.
Miles Mikolas will take the hill Tuesday at Great American Ball Park, and he’s 2-3 with a 4.79 ERA in eight career starts and a couple of relief appearances against the Reds. The 33-year-old righty rejoined the Cardinals’ rotation on August 20 after spending three months on the IL. He’s allowed five runs (three earned) over his previous two starts (9.1 innings pitched).
The Cardinals bullpen has had some ups and downs lately. Over the last couple of weeks, the Cards’ relievers have recorded two wins and four losses along with a 3.91 ERA and 3.66 FIP.
The Reds hope to regain their groove at home
The Cincinnati Reds finished their six-game road trip last Sunday, suffering a 2-1 defeat at Miami. It was their fourth loss during that journey, as the Reds struggled to hit well against the Brewers and Marlins. Cincinnati owns the seventh-highest scoring offense in baseball, averaging 4.96 runs per game, but the Reds are slashing just .227/.295/.414 over their last 13 outings.
Sonny Gray will toe the slab Tuesday and face off against St. Louis for the third time this season. In his previous two dates with the Cardinals, Gray got pounded hard for 13 earned runs across just seven innings of work.
The 31-year-old righty is 6-6 with a 3.91 ERA and 1.29 WHIP in 20 starts in 2021. He’s done a superb job over his previous two outings, tossing 13 scoreless innings in the process while yielding just four hits and four walks.
- 1-6 in the last seven games against Cincinnati
- 4-1 in the last five games at home
- 5-1 in Sonny Gray’s last six starts
St. Louis Cardinals vs. Cincinnati Reds Pick
After a couple of meltdowns against the Cardinals, Sonny Gray can only do a better job in this one. He’s been outstanding in each of his previous two starts, but the Cards know him well, so the Reds will have to get things going at the dish if they want to win this game.
Miles Mikolas cannot be trusted, and he shouldn’t last for more than five frames. The Reds are hitting the righties very well, so I’m backing the hosts to win this clash on the back of their offense.
Pick: Take Cincinnati Reds at -143
Frankly, this game could easily go either way and betting on the over should be the best move. The current Reds have a 1.056 OPS in 69 at-bats against Miles Mikolas. They are slashing .257/.336/.448 against the right-handers in 2021.
On the other side, I’ve mentioned Sonny Gray’s woes against the Cards. Also, the Reds bullpen is a big issue. Their relievers have registered a pedestrian 5.17 ERA and 4.50 FIP over the last couple of weeks.
Pick: Go over 9.0 runs at -110