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MLB Betting Preview: Cincinnati Reds vs. St. Louis Cardinals

Written by Andrew Scofield   
Monday, 04 July 2011 22:34

Baseball Odds: Cincinnati Reds vs. St. Louis CardinalsOnline Betting Overview

Much to the surprise of MLB baseball betting enthusiasts, the NL Central is turning out to be one of the most competitive divisions in baseball. The MLB baseball news headlines talk about surprising wins by teams such as the Pittsburgh Pirates and Milwaukee Brewers. The result is that four teams out of six in the NL Central are either in first place, or within two games of the lead. No other division is even close, and the MLB scores that keep rolling in from the St. Louis Cardinals are keeping the red birds tied with the Brewers for first place. St. Louis has had to overcome injuries to some key players this season, including a recent wrist injury to Albert Pujols, to stay in the battle for the NL Central pennant. But the Cardinals are staying in the hunt, and they are trying to put some distance between themselves and the rest of the division.

The Cincinnati Reds were a surprise playoff team last year, which means that many people had high expectations for Cincinnati this season.

The Reds started off slow, but now have themselves to within two games of the NL Central lead. The Reds are winning and losing in streaks this season. Lately the Reds have been losing, and their road record has dropped to 20-21. The Reds just lost two of three to the Cleveland Indians in a home interleague series, but the loss was not enough to drop the Reds too far off the pace in the NL Central. Cincinnati starts this series with the Cardinals and then travels to Milwaukee for a very important series with the Brewers. If the Reds want to put themselves in a better position to win the NL Central pennant before the all-star break, the schedule has handed them the chance to do so.

St. Louis Cardinals
Jaime Garcia takes the mound for St. Louis in this game, and Garcia is hoping to get his season back on track after a rough month of June. Garcia had six starts in June, but was only able to post a 2-2 record for the month. It was a strange stretch for Garcia where he was able to keep the opposition to three earned runs or less five times. The one time that Garcia allowed more than three earned runs was a five-run performance against the Baltimore Orioles that he won. Garcia is not going to give the Cardinals a lot of innings as he is usually out by the fifth or sixth inning. But he consistently puts the Cardinals in a position to win, and has had pretty good control of his pitches lately.

Cincinnati Reds
The wildly erratic Edinson Volquez will start this game on the hill for the Reds. Volquez is 5-3 on the season, but his 5.65 ERA indicates a performance that has been all over the map. His last start was an interleague game against the Tampa Bay Rays where he gave up three runs on four hits in six and a third innings. Once again, his control was an issue early in the game. Once he settled in, he fanned seven hitters and only walked three. Even without Pujols, the Cardinals have the power to jump all over Volquez in the early innings and chase him from the game. In his last 10 starts, Volquez has three games where he went four innings or less. It could happen again here.

The Bottom Line
This is an important game to both teams, but the Reds are outmatched on the mound in this one. The Reds need to score runs early to counter what could be an early onslaught by the Cardinals. But the Reds will not have the power to beat Garcia early.

BSN Sports Pick: St. Louis Cardinals

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