The St. Louis Cardinals and Cincinnati Reds have been used to fighting over the National League Central crown in recent years but now both teams are trying to chase down the Pittsburgh Pirates – believe it or not. This weekend, the Cards and Reds will engage in a three-game set at the Great American Ball Park, which is going to be huge as both squads are struggling right now.
The Cards have won seven of nine meetings between these bitter rivals in 2013 but the Reds have won six of the last 10 overall betting matchups in Cincinnati, so something has to give this weekend.
Shelby Miller (10-7, 2.79) vs. Bronson Arroyo (9-8, 3.26) – Friday, 7:10 PM ET
Odds: Arroyo -120
Miller has managed to stay away from the Reds so far this season and his lone start against them came in his rookie campaign last year, allowing a single hit over 6.1 innings of work and no earned runs. On the road, however, Miller is 4-5 in 10 starts and his 3.98 ERA is significantly higher than the 1.74 he posts at home. Arroyo has had his problems with the Cardinals this season, going 0-2 in three starts with a 3.79 ERA, but that has been a career trend as he is 8-15 in 36 games (34 starts) against St. Louis with a 4.49 ERA. At home, Arroyo is solid with a 6-2 mark in 12 starts and a 2.58 ERA.
Jake Westbrook (7-5, 3.18) vs. Tony Cingrani (4-1, 2.90) – Saturday, 7:10 PM ET
Westbrook tossed a complete-game win in his lone start against Cincinnati this season, taking his career record to 4-2 in 11 games (10 starts) with a 3.36 ERA, and on the road, Westbrook is 2-5 in nine starts with a 4.76 ERA, which is much higher than his 1.28 ERA at home. Cingrani has done very well since moving to the rotation, and he will be making his first start against the Cards after tossing a scoreless 2.3 inning against them last season despite giving up two hits and a walk. At home, Cingrani is 1-0 in seven games (four starts) and a 2.63 ERA.
Lance Lynn (12-5, 3.87) vs. Mike Leake (10-4, 2.59) – Sunday, 1:10 PM ET
Lynn has been excellent against the Reds in 2013, going 2-0 in three MLB betting starts with a 2.84 ERA and for his career he is now 2-0 in seven games (four starts) against Cincinnati with a 3.96 ERA. But on the road, Lynn has been shaky with a 4-4 record in 11 starts while posting an ERA of 5.20, a far cry from his 2.66 at home. Leake hasn’t lost in four decisions, and he is out to redeem an earlier loss to the Cardinals that took his career record to 2-3 in seven games (six starts) against them, along with a 4.76 ERA. Leake has been much better on the road this season (7-1 in 12 starts, 1.94 ERA) than at home (3-3 in nine starts, 3.47 ERA), but the Reds will need that to change on Sunday in a massive divisional game.