Cardinals v Reds
The St. Louis Cardinals would normally be favourites at home against the Cincinnati Reds today. But, with Cardinals pitcher Adam Wainwright continuing to struggle, I believe the Reds are going to pull this one out of the bag. In both 2009 and 2010, Wainwright finished in the top three of the Cy Young award voting, before requiring surgery on his pitching elbow last season. The problem for the right-hander now is that the last element of a pitcher’s skill to comeback post-surgery is the ability to command your pitches. Wainwright simply isn’t there yet, sporting an 11.42 ERA through his first two starts. He’ll likely need a handful more starts before it comes around. So, even though the Reds have been one of the worst-scoring offences so far this year, they should have some bounce back in this one. It’s also worth noting that while I’m not a huge fan of the Reds’ starting pitcher for this game, Bronson Arroyo, he has been effective so far in 2012 posting a 2.63 ERA. In conclusion, take the Reds at a generous 2.40 over the Cardinals at 1.57.
Yankees v Twins
If you want a safer option, the New York Yankees should take care of business against the Minnesota Twins at home tomorrow. The pitching match-up actually favours the Twins slightly – Minnesota’s unheralded Anthony Swarzak is 0-2 but has a respectable 3.75 ERA, while New York’s Phil Hughes has appeared all too mortal with a 9.00 ERA. The difference here is the line ups. The Yankees are fourth in runs scored in the fourteen-team American League with 5.18 runs produced per game. As for the Twins, they’re second-to-last with just 3.45 runs mustered each time out. Bottom line: Yankees, even at a skimpy 1.42, is the right pick over the Twins at 2.90.