Athletics vs. Cardinals prediction and odds for Monday, Aug. 14 (Back the bats)

The Cardinals and A's are both last place teams, but they are in very different spots midway through August.
St. Louis Cardinals catcher Willson Contreras (40)
St. Louis Cardinals catcher Willson Contreras (40) / Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

At 52-66 the St. Louis Cardinals are last in the NL Central, an unfamiliar place for the franchise. This weekend they split a two-game set with the Kansas City Royals and now will face the worst team in baseball, the Oakland Athletics, for a three-game set.

The A’s are 33-85, 4.5 games worse than the Royals who have the second worst record. 

Tonight, Game 1 will feature JP Sears against Miles Mikolas at Busch Stadium. Sears the lefty is 2-9 with a 4.23 ERA in 23 starts for Oakland this season. Mikolas is much better at 6-8 with a 4.20 ERA in 25 starts. 

Though they are in last place in their division, the Cardinals are big favorites over the A’s. 

Athletics vs. Cardinals odds, run line and total

Athletics vs. Cardinals prediction and pick

St. Louis hasn’t really had many issues at the plate this season, it’s been more their pitching staff. Mikolas has been a bright spot lately with two straight seven innings starts with just two earned runs allowed in each.

His FIP is strong at 3.76, but he has a very low strikeout rate and a seventh percentile expected batting average with an xERA of 4.88. 

Mikolas still isn’t totally reliable because of those numbers, but he’ll likely be a bit more reliable than Sears, especially against St. Louis. The Cardinals are 11th in wRC+ against lefties and have a .760 OPS.

Since the start of July, they are even better with  a 122 wRC+ which is seventh over that stretch. 

Paul Goldschmidt has been disappointing against left-handed pitching with just two homers this year in a team high 113 at-bats. Willson Contreras has picked up some of that slack with an .890 OPS and four home runs off lefties. 

Since the start of July, St. Louis and Oakland rank 20th and 21st in bullpen ERA at 4.87 and 4.91 respectively. So with shaky starting pitching, a St. Louis lineup that can do some damage against lefties, and two bad bullpens, I love the over in this one. 

Follow all Josh Yourish’s bets HERE

Game odds refresh periodically and are subject to change