After a rough stretch to begin August the Cardinals find themselves right back where they have been all season – on top of the NL Central. The Birds continue to chase the NL’s best record currently held by Atlanta. St. Louis goes for a sweep of the Reds Wednesday when it sends ace Adam Wainwright to the bump to oppose Homer Bailey.
If Clayton Kershaw didn’t exist, Adam Wainwright very well may be your NL Cy Young award winner this season. The tall righty would at least be right in the thick of the discussion with one of the greatest combinations of control and swing-and-miss stuff in recent memory. Wainwright has 182 strikeouts on the season. He’s walked 25 batters. Cliff Lee has put up some pretty impressive K:BB ratios in recent seasons but he hasn’t done what Wainwright has managed to accomplish this year. The 6’7″ righty is simply one of the most entertaining and beautiful pitchers to watch work in baseball. A pin-point fastball and beautiful 12-6 breaking ball highlight just two of the tools he has to work with. And Wainwright’s only getting stronger as the year goes on. Flawless mechanics and a smooth delivery allow Wainwright to be the workhorse he is. In his last 20 starts, Wainwright has failed to go seven innings just twice. He’s also allowed just two runs in his last two outings that totaled 16 innings. Cincinnati’s lineup has had almost no success against Wainwright over his career. Plain and simple, Wainwright should be a slam dunk here – like always – to go at least seven innings and only give up a couple runs.
The desperate Cincinnati Reds look to avoid a sweep to put themselves back within close striking range of the top of the Central. The Reds know they’re not out of this with about 30 games to play for most teams in the NL. Cincy sends Homer Bailey to the mound. Bailey made headlines earlier this year by throwing a no-hitter after throwing one at the tail end of last season. In reality, Bailey has had a complete year where he has found a level of consistency he had yet to attain in his tantalizing career. Bailey has a poor record but flaunts a tiny 1.15 WHIP and has 166 strikeouts in 170 innings pitched. The Cardinals have had good success against Bailey in his career but I’m not so concerned with that as I am the spot. Bailey comes in with his team’s back against the wall and there isn’t much reason to think he won’t respond with another great outing.
There’s not a whole lot of analysis that needs to be done here. These are two dominant pitchers going at it in the tightest division race in baseball right now. This total is plain wrong and I can’t see any way that it stays at 8.0 before first pitch. The numbers is probably a full run too high – at least a solid half. If you pounce early and get an 8 make this a x1.5 or x2 play.
Free Pick: Cincinnati/St. Louis Under 8 (-115)