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St. Louis Cardinals vs. Cincinnati Reds Gambling Preview & Free MLB Picks

MLB Lines – Cards vs Reds

Reds pitcher Homer Bailey hit the big bucks this offseason with a contract extension; he’ll be out to stymie the Redbirds when St. Louis comes to town on Friday night.

Date/Time: Friday, May 23 2014, 7:10 pm EST
Venue: Great American Ballpark, Cincinnati OH
St. Louis, Cincinnati (no odds yet listed)
Pitching Match-up: Shelby Miller (6-2, 2.79 ERA) vs. Homer Bailey (3-3, 5.44 ERA)

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Bailey’s almost unshakable consistency up until 2014 was what set the ink on the new deal, but he’s regressed so far this year. Carrying an ERA of almost five and a half up to the end of May is worrying.

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It’ll be a battle of Texans on the mound as Bailey will duel with Shelby Miller, who has been excellent so far for the Cardinals (25-21). St. Louis’s ability to continually promote young pitching talent from within is a key reason why the Cardinals contend seemingly every season.

The Reds (21-24) have the best starting pitcher so far this year in Johnny Cueto, probably the fastest baserunner in the game with OF Billy Hamilton and an on-base machine in 1B Joey Votto, but other than that it’s a bit sketchy for baseball fans in southern Ohio.

GTBets

Cincinnati doesn’t generate nearly enough offense (3B Todd Frazier leads the team with eight HRs and 24 RBI) and the inconsistency of Bailey coupled with an injury to early surprise Tony Cingrani hasn’t helped. You often feel bad for Cincy pitchers because they don’t get run support and few starters are going to toss innings the way Cueto has recently.

For the Cardinals’ part, they are chugging along as usual. They are 2.5 games back of the Milwaukee Brewers in the NL Central after the Brew Crew have come back to earth after a hot start. The Redbirds hit the baseball and get on base quite regularly, even with horrid starts to the season for SS Jhonny Peralta and 1B/OF Allen Craig.

The Cards don’t slug many homers, but they’ve never been about a power game since Mark McGwire was making perforations in his butt-cheek. St. Louis wins with strong starting pitching, a strong bullpen (even though closer Trevor Rosenthal has been rather spotty to date), and hitting with runners in scoring position.

Starters Jaime Garcia and Michael Wacha are nicked up, but even with injuries the Cardinals cobble together a functional starting five. The Reds could take notes, especially after feeling frustrated with Bailey not living up to the new contract. Journeyman Alfredo Simon has been a pleasant surprise for Cincy, but he also looks to be coming back to earth of late.

Cincy was relying on Bailey to be a vital cog in the rotation, so he better turn things around soon if the Reds are to contend in the division this year. A lack of offense in Cincinnati was a worry from the outset – Votto can’t do everything, and in fact he’s hitting 60 points lower than his career average.

The Reds have a few players that are both talented and intriguing, but they don’t look well-rounded enough to be a factor in the latter half of the season. A divisional win would help buoy the spirits at Great American Ballpark, but with the way Miller has been tossing and with the recent enigma that’s been Homer Bailey – the safe money is on the visitors.

St. Louis 5, Cincinnati 4

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