The St. Louis Cardinals and Cincinnati Reds will wrap up the month of August by playing the rubber match of a three-game series. The Reds surprised St. Louis with a win on Tuesday, but the Cardinals remain big road favorites on Wednesday with a moneyline of -235 compared to Cincinnati’s moneyline of +190. The game also has an over/under of 9.5 runs.
Tuesday’s loss was a big surprise for the Cardinals because St. Louis has been one of the hottest teams in baseball during the month of August. The Cardinals have been 21-7 over the last month, putting them 20 games over .500 and completely transforming their season. They now hold a comfortable six-game lead over the Brewers at the top of the NL Central.
Meanwhile, the Reds are just trying to avoid a last-place finish in the NL Central. They have been just 3-6 over their last nine games, although Cincinnati has won three series during the month of August. Yet, they are 26 games under .500 and just 2.5 games ahead of the Pirates if they hope to avoid a last-place finish.
It’ll be Mike Minor taking the mound for the Reds on Wednesday night, making his 16th start of the season. The veteran lefty is just 3-10 with a 6.10 ERA and 1.54 WHIP over his first 15 starts of 2022. However, things have slowly turned around for Minor, who has been the winning pitcher in his last two starts and has a slightly better ERA of 5.72 during his five August starts.
The Reds have also showcased a little promise offensively lately, averaging 4.9 runs per game over their last 12 games, scoring at least four runs in nine of those 12 games. Obviously, the Reds lost some pieces from their lineup at the trade deadline and have now lost Joey Votto, Mike Moustakas, and others to the IL. But Jonathan India has gotten hot lately, while TJ Friedl has come out of nowhere to help fill the gaps in the Cincinnati lineup.
The Q Man
Lefty Jose Quintana will take the mound for the Cardinals in Wednesday’s rubber match. In 25 starts for St. Louis this year, the southpaw is 4-6 with a 3.45 ERA and a 1.32 WHIP. Quintana has been steady all year and has allowed two earned runs or less in seven consecutive starts, with the Cardinals going 5-2 in those seven starts.
Of course, the St. Louis lineup has been surprisingly hot and cold lately. After scoring just one run on Tuesday, the Cardinals have been held to one run or less in four of their last ten games. However, during their other six games during that stretch, they are averaging 8.3 runs per game, with Paul Goldschmidt and Nolan Arenado leading the way.
Seeing Red Birds
While Minor has been a little better for the Reds lately, his success has come against subpar teams. He may not enjoy the same success against the St. Louis lineup, which can heat up in a hurry. Bet on the Cardinals to rebound from Tuesday’s loss and secure a win over the Reds in Wednesday’s rubber match.
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