Today's Free Picks for
Posted at 11:15 AM EST.
6:40 PM EST. Note the 30 minute earlier start time, as the Reds are another team trying to prevent their fans that they care so much about, from eating dinner anywhere but at the ballpark. Aside from that, the price here on the Cardinals is not warranted.
The Redbirds are 5-7 but have lost three of their last four games and will send out a starter that is not well-suited to succeed at this park. In 9.2 innings pitched over two starts, Michael Wacha has walked seven and struck out seven while surrendering two jacks at two pitcher friendly parks. This park is hitter friendly. Wacha’s eroding xERA over the past four plus months of pitching had pointed towards the pen as a likely destination but like a lot of other teams, the Cards are desperate for starters and right now Wacha is their guy. He comes is with a 1.66 WHIP after those two starts, not to mention a troublesome 38%/28%/34% groundball/line-drive/fly-ball rate. His sub-indicators are also weak with a 5% swing and miss rate and 53% first-pitch strike rate. The very cool temperatures are likely not going to warm Wacha up either.
Sal Romano went 5-8 with a 4.45 ERA in 87 frames for the Reds last season. This big groundballer (58%) with a mid-90s fastball posted decent control from August on last year and his September finish (3.49 ERA, 7.6 K’s/9) was a plus. Look it, Romano isn’t great. His fastball/slider combo needs a third pitch and his future may be in the pen but he has the foundation and that matters. He already has one quality start in two tries and he also has an outstanding 55%/10% groundball/line-drive rate after those two starts. This is not a bet on Romano, however. This is a wager against a starter in trouble that is favored on the road because the home team is 2-9. If the Reds were 5-6, this game would be a pick-em.
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CINCINNATI +129 (Risking 2 units - To Win: 2.58)