Reds vs. Cardinals MLB Betting Preview
By: Eduardo Solano
The Cincinnati Reds and St. Louis Cardinals open their four-game series on Thursday night. Here’s a complete preview, including updated odds and our betting pick.
Cincinnati Reds vs. St. Louis Cardinals
Thursday, August 20, 2020 – 08:15 PM EDT at Busch Stadium
The Numbers Don’t Lie
Time to bring in the quants. Comparing the following projections to the MLB odds will help us make the right choice:
FiveThirtyEight: Reds 52 percent
Equivalent Odds (using an Odds Converter): -108
The Reds opened as -144 favorites, but over at FiveThirtyEight, they already have them at -108 based on our calculations. There’s a gap between the projections and the actual MLB odds.
A difference like this is usually enough for us not to recommend opening up your wallet and/or purse and splashing some money around on the favorite. So what will it be, Human or Machine?
Sonny Gray vs. Adam Wainwright
Sonny Gray (4-1, 2.05 ERA, 0.91 WHIP)
Sonny Gray was dominant in his last start, giving up just one earned run on five hits (one home run) with ten strikeouts and only one walk over 6 2/3 innings in an 8-1 win against the Pirates last Friday.
Gray is 1-1 with a 1.08 ERA, and an 0.96 WHIP in three career starts against the Cardinals, all last season. He went 0-1 with a 1.54 ERA and a 1.03 WHIP in two starts at Busch Stadium. Paul Goldschmidt is 0-for-11 against Gray.
Adam Wainwright (2-0, 1.64 ERA, 0.82 WHIP)
Adam Wainwright has been lights out in two starts this season. The right-hander allowed just one earned run on two hits with three strikeouts and three walks over five innings in a 5-1 win against the White Sox last Saturday.
Wainwright was just 1-1 with a 6.75 ERA and a 1.38 WHIP in three starts against the Reds last season. Overall, he is 10-12 with a 5.25 ERA and a 1.38 WHIP in 32 career appearances (27 starts) against the Reds. Joey Votto is 13-for-21 against Wainwright.
The Under is:
13-3 in Cincinnati’s last 16 games with the total set at 11 or higher
19-6-1 in Cincinnati’s last 26 Thursday games
9-3 in Cincinnati’s last 12 road games against a right-handed starter
5-2 in Cincinnati’s last seven games as a road favorite.
14-3 in St. Louis’ last 17 games as a home underdog
14-6 in St. Louis’ last 20 games against a starter with a WHIP below 1.15
35-16 in St. Louis’ last 51 home games against a right-handed starter
5-2-1 in the last eight meetings in St. Louis
Wainwright hasn’t been particularly successful in his career against the Reds, but he’s rested and healthy this season, though he hasn’t pitched more than six innings in any of his starts.
Gray feels at home with the Reds, and he was dominant against the Cardinals last season. This can be a low-scoring game, but we will take the bullpens out of the equation to make sure.
The projected Reds lineup has six batters with a strikeout rate above 21 percent while the projected Cardinals lineup has eight batters with a strikeout rate above 21 percent, two batters with a Weighted On-Base Average (wOBA) above .340 and three batters with an Isolated Power (ISO) above .185.