St. Louis Cardinals (77-72, O/U 74-67) vs. Cincinnati Reds (66-84, O/U 77-67)
MLB: Tuesday, September 19, 2017 Great American Ball Park, Cincinnati, Ohio 7:10 pm ET
Lines: Reds -115 / Cardinals -105
O/U: 9.5 runs
The Cardinals were swept in their last series and it was a costly sweep coming at the hands of the Chicago Cubs. St. Louis has lost three in a row and four of their last five games and are six games back of the Cubs in the NL Central and 4.5 games out of the 2nd NL Wild Card. In getting swept by Chicago the Cardinals only totaled six runs in the three games and in their last five games they have only crossed the plate 11 times. Jack Flaherty takes the hill in the first game of this series looking for his first win of his career.
The Reds have won four of their last five games and they are coming off a sweep of the Pittsburgh Pirates. They are in the basement of the NL Central and while they rank 2nd to last in the Majors in team ERA they only gave up five runs in their three game sweep over Pittsburgh. Jackson Stephens gets the nod in this game and will be making just his 2nd career start.
While the Cardinals have won four of their last five games facing the Reds they have lost eight of their last 11 games against them in Cincinnati.
Giving up the big hit
The Cardinals lost to the Chicago Cubs 4-3 in their last game where they gave up a RBI single in the 7th inning that broke a 3-3 tie. The Cardinals scored their three runs on 10 hits and Dexter Fowler’s three run HR accounted for all of the runs. Lance Lynn took a no-decision going four innings and giving up three earned runs and Tyler Lyons took the loss giving up the big hit in the 7th inning. Fowler was 4 for 8 in the series facing the Cubs, but this season facing Cincinnati he is only 6 for 29. This season St. Louis is 35-40 on the road.
Jack Flaherty (0-1 6.08 ERA) was added to the expanded September rotation and this will be the 4th start of his career and is still looking for his first win. He has three no-decisions in his three starts this season where he has gone 13 innings and given up nine earned runs. Flaherty’s last outing was facing the Reds where he gave up three earned runs in four innings in a 6-0 St. Louis loss.
Making the hits count
In their last game, the Reds beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 5-2 where they only had four hits in the game, but still got the win. Eugenio Suarez and Scooter Gennett each went yard for two-run HR in the 6th inning, which were two of the four Cincy hits in the game and the Reds scored all five of their runs in the inning. Robert Stephenson evened his record at 5-5 with the win going six innings and not giving up any runs and only allowing one hit. Five players for the Reds have at least 25 HR and the lineup has not been the issue, but the pitching has, which is why the club is 22 games under .500. This season the Reds are 39-36 at home.
Jackson Stephens (2-0 2.38 ERA) has been used out of the bullpen in his last three appearances and he started the first one of the season getting a win going five innings and giving up three earned runs in a 5-3 Cincy win over the Chicago Cubs. He pitched in relief in his last outing tossing three scoreless innings in a 5-2 loss to the Cardinals.
The St. Louis Cardinals are:
- 1-4 in their last 5 overall
- 0-4 in their last 4 road games
- 0-4 in their last 4 road games vs. a team with a winning home record
The Cincinnati Reds are:
- 4-0 in their last 4 home games vs. a team with a winning record
- 7-0 in their last 7 home games vs. a right-handed starter
- 7-0 in their last 7 home games
- 4-1 in their last 5 overall
Going with the hotter team in this one, which is the Reds since they have won their last seven home games while the Cardinals have lost four of their last five games overall. Neither offense is really clicking, but the Reds have gotten better pitching as of late and Stephens will have another good outing against St. Louis The Reds will win their 4th in a row sending the Cardinals to their 4th straight loss and hurting their playoff hopes.