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Cincinnati Reds at St. Louis Cardinals odds, picks and prediction

Apr 23, 2021; St. Louis, Missouri, USA; St. Louis Cardinals third baseman Nolan Arenado (28) throws to first for an out against the Cincinnati Reds in the ninth inning at Busch Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Joe Puetz-USA TODAY Sports

The Cincinnati Reds (9-11) wrap up their three-game set with NL Central rival St. Louis Cardinals (10-10) Sunday at Busch Stadium with a 2:15 p.m. ET first pitch. Let’s analyze BetMGM Sportsbook‘s lines around the Reds vs. Cardinals odds with MLB picks and predictions.

St. Louis looks to complete a three-game sweep of Cincinnati Sunday after taking the first two games of the series by a combined score of 7-4.

Season series: Cardinals 3-2.

RHP Luis Castillo makes his fifth start for the Reds. Castillo is 1-1 with a 6.05 ERA (19 1/3 IP, 13 ER), 1.66 WHIP, 2.8 BB/9 and 7.4 K/9 this season.

  • Last outing: No-decision in 4 IP with 1 ER, 7 H, 3 BB and 4 K’s in Cincinnati’s 5-4 loss to the Arizona Diamondbacks Tuesday.
  • Career vs. the Cardinals: 4-5 with a 4.70 ERA (69 IP, 36 ER), 1.22 WHIP and 8.3 K/9 in 12 starts.

RHP Jack Flaherty is on the mound for the Cardinals Sunday. Flaherty is 3-0 with a 3.80 ERA (21 1/3 IP, 9 ER), 1.13 WHIP, 3.4 BB/9 and 8.9 K/9 in 4 starts.

  • Last outing: Win in 6 IP with 2 ER, 6 H, 2 BB and 5 K’s in the Cardinals’ 12-5 victory at the Washington Nationals Monday.
  • Career vs. Reds: 2-2 with a 3.65 ERA (37 IP, 15 ER), 1.30 WHIP and 9.2 K/9 in 8 starts.

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Reds at Cardinals odds, lines, picks and prediction

MLB odds courtesy of BetMGM; access USA TODAY Sports for a full list. Odds last updated at 9:15 a.m. ET.

  • Money line: Reds +105 (bet $100 to win $105) | Cardinals -130 (bet $130 to win $100)
  • Against the spread/ATS: Reds +1.5 (-190) | Cardinals -1.5 (+155)
  • Over/Under: 7 (O: -120 | U: +100)

Prediction

Cardinals 5, Reds 3

Money line (ML)

Sunday’s starting pitching matchup for Reds-Cardinals is a rematch of Opening Day where both pitchers got roughed up, but I picture the St. Louis lineup doing more damage to Castillo than Cincinnati’s vs. Flaherty.

Castillo got shelled for 10 runs (eight earned runs) by the Cardinals in his first start of the year. He had two walks, no strikeouts and allowed eight hits in Cincinnati’s 11-6 Opening Day loss.

Also, Castillo has three pitches in his arsenal—a fastball, slider and changeup—but, he has essentially ditched his slider after getting smacked around on Opening Day.

Castillo used the slider on 30.1% of his pitches and the changeup 24.7% of the time in his first start against the Cardinals, but for the year, Castillo is only throwing his slider 10.9% of his pitches and the changeup 41.3%.

These updates to his pitch arsenal might not have a good outcome for Castillo when facing St. Louis.

According to Statcast, the Cardinals’ two-four hitters (1B Paul Goldschmidt, 3B Nolan Arenado and C Yadier Molina) all have a positive run value facing changeups and each has a wOBA of at least .427. Molina didn’t play yesterday after leaving Friday’s contest due to a sore foot, and he might be questionable today.

BET CARDINALS (-130) for a three-fourths unit.

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Run line/Against the spread (ATS)

“LEAN” to the CARDINALS -1.5 (+155) for a quarter unit since I like the starting pitching matchup more for St. Louis, and Cincinnati has one of the worst bullpens in baseball.

The Reds’ bullpen has the second-worst FIP, the fifth-worst left on-base percentage and the fifth-most home runs per nine.

Over/Under (O/U)

Slight “LEAN” to the OVER 7 (-120) for a one-fifth unit if at all because Flaherty gave up six earned runs on six hits (two home runs) vs. the Reds on Opening Day and the Over is 5-1-1 in the past seven Reds-Cardinals meetings.

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