The playoff hunting Cincinnati Reds will do well at home against the lowly Chicago Cubs on Tuesday.
Starting pitching will be a key in this contest. Reds’ pitcher Tony Cingrani has improved as the season has progressed. In the first half he was 3-1 with a 3.23 ERA, but in the second half his ERA has plummeted to 2.08. He’s also been a model of consistency.
Cingrani hasn’t given up more than three runs in a game since May 4. Even though he faced the Cubs earlier in the season when he wasn’t as sharp, he threw reasonably well, logging a 3.60 ERA in three starts and striking out 19 batters in 20 innings pitched. Considering he’s pitched better as of late, he should improve on those results.
The Cubs’ Edwin Jackson is enduring a forgettable season in Chicago. His 15 losses lead the National League. In the second half he’s 1-5, and the fact he’s pitching away doesn’t help matters. In road games, he’s 3-8 with a 5.27 ERA (he’s a slightly more respectable 4-7 with a 4.50 ERA at home). Take the Reds at 1.40.
Look for a hitters’ fest in St. Louis as the Cardinals host the Milwaukee Brewers. It doesn’t take a lot for the Cardinals to score runs this year. They lead all of the National League in runs scored per game – and do so by a pretty large margin.
But facing the Brewers Wily Peralta should put them in a position to truly explode. Overall, Peralta isn’t having a good season (9-14 with a 4.51 ERA), but recently it’s gone from bad to worse. In his past four outings he’s registered a 5.91 ERA.
Moreover, St. Louis hitters have a great history against the Brewers’ starter. In 50 career plate appearances, they own an eye popping .478 batting average. Milwaukee isn’t an offensive juggernaut compared with the Cardinals. Still, they are just below league average in runs scored per game and they face a pitcher in Shelby Miller, who after a great start is struggling mightily. Miller has only two quality starts (six innings or more pitched; three earned runs or less allowed) in his past eight outings.
In his past two starts, he has a 7.20 ERA. The Cardinals will likely win this game but not after runs are scored in large numbers. Pick over 8 runs at 2.02.
Back the Reds to beat the Cubs at 1.40.
Back over 8 runs in Cardinals vs Brewers at 2.02.