The last time I shared a pick here was ten days ago when we were in the midst of correctly predicting Boston’s four-game sweep of the Yankees – the start of a winning streak that’s still live. But we only came out of that series 2-1 because the oddsmakers forced us to play the run line on the home team in game three and juiced Pomeranz in the finale. Spots are few and far between in the last week of the regular season but I don’t intend to stop short of our 10 play quota for the month. The Cardinals still have plenty to play for, chasing a wild card spot.
An over play from me is rare, but it’s where we’re going tonight when the Cardinals look to bounce back after being shellacked by the Reds in their home ballpark last night. Cincy pounded out 15 runs on 22 hits and depleted St. Louis’ pitching in the process. Jaime Garcia got three outs, which forced Matheny to use both Michael Wacha and Luke Weaver who were each slated to start games later this week. Four more relievers followed and ran the staff pitch to 172 before things ended.
That puts some pressure on Adam Wainwright to get deep into this ballgame, something he certainly can do but may suffer some damages for it. Waino is already increasingly hittable in his 10th season at age 35 (204 hits allowed in 187 innings) and the Reds could see even more good strikes to swing at if Wainwright takes the approach I expect him to this evening.
It may not hurt his team, necessarily. We all know how bad Cincinnati’s pitching is and Tuesday’s starter Robert Stephenson has played his part. Opponents have hit nearly .280 against Stephenson this season and he’s walked 13 batters in his 29 innings on the season. The Cardinals know what’s at stake; they know Wainwright might have to be a little less fine in order to spell the ‘pen; and they’ll have some sense or urgency to put runs on the board early and often tonight. I think it all adds up to an over. We’ll play it for half a unit.
Gut Says: Over 8.5 -115
YTD: 35-24-1 +5.25
2015: 31-25-5 +1.09
2014: 45-28-3 +9.02