The Cincinnati Reds (20-27, 13-12 home) continue a four-game series against NL Central rival the St. Louis Cardinals (21-28, 10-13 away) on Tuesday night. Cincinnati opened up the series with a thrilling 6-5 victory in extra innings.
The first pitch of the contest is at 6:40 p.m. EST inside Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati, Ohio. St. Louis is the betting favorite (-140 moneyline) and the over/under total is 10.5 runs.
What to Know – St. Louis Cardinals
St. Louis has heated up over the past couple of weeks after falling 14-games under .500. The Cardinals remain near the bottom of the NL Central but are now just five games back of the frontrunners.
Veteran right-hander Adam Wainwright (1-0, 5.74 ERA, 1.60 WHIP) gets the call on the mound for the Cardinals. The 41-year-old picked up his first win of the season in his last start against a tough Los Angeles Dodgers lineup. In three starts, Wainwright has logged 15.2 innings, allowed ten earned runs on 20 hits and five walks, while striking out eight batters.
Offensively, the Cardinals rank seventh in the league sporting a .261 team batting average and scoring 5.1 runs per game. The pitching staff for St. Louis is tied for 17th in the majors with a 4.32 team earned run average.
Second-year pro Nolan Gorman is emerging as a centerpiece of the St. Louis franchise. The talented shortstop leads the team in batting average (.301 avg), home runs (13), and runs batted in (39) at 28-years-old. Nolan Arenado is right there with Gorman, driving in 34 runners and hitting nine home runs.
What to Know – Cincinnati Reds
The win on Monday snapped a four-game losing skid for the Reds who’ve now just won two games over their last eight matchups. Cincinnati sits neck and neck with St. Louis at the bottom of a congested NL Central.
Right-hander Graham Ashcraft (2-2, 4.84 ERA, 1.43 WHIP) looks to get back into the winner’s circle for the Reds. The 25-year-old has a 9.33 ERA through four starts in May after just a 2.10 ERA in April. On the year, Ashcraft has 48.1 innings under his belt, surrendering 26 earned runs, 48 hits, 21 walks, with 36 strikeouts.
Cincinnati’s offense ranks 18th in the MLB batting .243 as a team and averaging 4.3 runs per contest. The Reds pitching staff has the worst team ERA in the National League with a 5.04 mark.
The Reds are led offensively by Jake Fraley and Spencer Steer. The two young hitters have combined for 11 home runs and 52 of the team’s 193 RBIs. Jonathan India has produced 37 runs scored backed by a .287 batting average.
The Pick is In
Baseball is a funny game. Prior to the season you would not have anticipated these two teams being neck and neck at the bottom of the NL Central as we hit the end of May. The Cardinals are finding themselves, and we expect St. Louis to show up on Tuesday and take care of business behind their veteran leader on the mound.
The Pick: St. Louis Cardinals ML