June 7, 2013 at 1:57 PM #52289
Qbin Missile CrisisKeymaster
Friday June 7
Great American Ballpark – Cincinnati, OH
STL: Adam Wainright (R)
CIN: Mike Leake (R)
Moneyline: St. Louis -115, Cincinnati +105
St. Louis just broke a short losing streak by hammering the Arizona Diamondbacks on Thursday night. It was a good tune-up for this series with the Cincinnati Reds, who they are 4-2 against this season – all games in St. Louis. The Cardinals actually have a better record on the road than they do at home, just one of the many reasons they are in first place. The others, fantastic pitching and an offense that is probably better than the sum of their parts. Guys like C Yadier Molina and 2B Matt Carpenter are having great seasons but they don’t exactly scare you.
Righty Adam Wainright has been absolutely superb this season. Last year seemed to scrape away the rust off his surgery and he is currently on pace to have his best season ever including a stunning K/BB ratio of 84/6. He has three complete games and two shutouts to lead the Majors – including one his last time out. Wainright has only faced the Reds once this season and was on the losing end of a 2-1 game in which he pitched well. He has generally struggled against Cincy with just a 4-7 record over the years.
The race in the National League Central is looking like a good one. The Cardinals and Reds were predicted to be there but the Pittsburgh Pirates are putting some heat on both of these teams for now. If Cincinnati can sweep the series they can achieve a tie for first with St. Louis and these games within the division are paramount. The Reds are one of the best team in the Majors at home and need that to continue after getting roughed up by the Colorado Rockies.
Like Wainrigh,t Reds starter Mike Leake is also coming off a game in which he didn’t give up any runs, he just didn’t see it all the way through. That has been a pattern over the last month as 3 times in the last 4 Leake has pitched 6 or more innings and left the game unscathed. The Reds really need Leake to pitch well in this important series against the division leaders. Oddly he has missed the Cardinals through two series that the Cards have won. Leake has very good splits this year but has been better on the road than at home, not a surprise given the park the Reds play in.
Score Prediction: Cincinnati 3 – St. Louis 2
I expect this to a crisp game going to the home team so you get a little extra value going with the underdog – love those home division dogs. Leake will outduel Wainright in this one and Reds closer Aroldis Chapman will assert his dominance to close things out. It’s June and we can expect some classic well played baseball from Cincy all weekend long.
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