A strong pitching match-up between the Cincinnati Reds at home versus the St. Louis Cardinals on Sunday will be fun to watch, but it’ll only be enjoyable to bet on if you go for a low-scoring result.
Reds pitcher Bronson Arroyo has put up solid numbers this year – most notably, a 3.38 ERA – and the fact that he’s at home suggests this will be another good start for the right-hander.
Arroyo is a robust 5-1 with a 2.64 ERA at Great American Ballpark. While the Cardinals lineup has been strong in 2013, Arroyo has a good track record against its hitters.
Combined, the Cards have a .262 batting average and a weak .298 on base percentage against the Reds’ starter. Hitters Carlos Beltran (.345 batting average) and Matt Holliday (.306) have done well against Arroyo, but there are enough other St. Louis hitters, like Yadier Molina (.174), David Freese (.083), Allen Craig (.091) and Pete Kozma (.143) who have struggled, so that the veteran Arroyo should be able to pitch around the more successful hitters.
His opponent Lance Lynn has been steamrolling through opponents this season. He’s 8-1 with a 2.76 ERA. There has been very little let down on the road, where he is 3-1 with a 3.10 ERA.
Also, Reds hitters won’t be happy to see Lynn. In two previous meetings this year, Lynn is 2-0, allowing just nine hits and two runs in thirteen innings, while striking out fifteen. Plan for these pitchers to be on their game and opt for under 8.5 runs at 1.91.
When two struggling clubs meet, only one can win and in the case of the Houston Astros visiting the Kansas City Royals, that winner will be Kansas City.
Houston will rely on one of their more talented pitchers in Lucas Harrell, but the problem with Harrell has been extreme inconsistency. The starter has not thrown two consecutive quality starters (six inning-plus thrown; three runs or fewer allowed) since April.
As a result, although Harrell is coming off a good start against the Baltimore Orioles at home, he’s unlikely to follow it up successfully here.
The Royals are going with Luis Mendoza. He isn’t overwhelming, but at least he’s been a bit more consistent. He hasn’t yielded more than three earned runs in a game in six consecutive starts.
Mendoza rarely goes deep into games, but the Royals bullpen is very much above average (they rank fifth out of fifteen American League teams in terms of fewest runs yielded per game). Go with the Royals at 1.58.
Best Bet: Back the Kansas City Royals to beat the Houston Astros at 1.58
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