Cardinals vs. Mariners prediction and odds for Sunday, April 23 (Why to back St. Louis)

Apr 18, 2023; St. Louis, Missouri, USA;  St. Louis Cardinals first baseman Paul Goldschmidt (46)
Apr 18, 2023; St. Louis, Missouri, USA; St. Louis Cardinals first baseman Paul Goldschmidt (46) / Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

The Cardinals slow start this season has continued in Seattle with the team dropping the first two of three aginast the Mariners.

Jack Flaherty takes the mound for the Cardinals on Sunday in hopes of stopping the bleeding for the 8-13 team. They will face the 10-11 Mariners, who counter with Chris Flexen. Seattle has kept down the Cardinals offense for the most part this series, allowing six runs through two games, but Flexen has struggled in 2023, is this the game the offense gets on track for St. Louis?

Before we break down the best bet, here are the odds:

St. Louis Cardinals vs. Seattle Mariners odds, run line and total

St. Louis Cardinals vs. Seattle Mariners prediction and pick

The Cardinals' record looks bleak, under .500 on the year, but it feels like some poor variance more than anything. The team is top 10 in most hitting metrics, including batting average (.266) and slugging percentage (.426). They now get to face Chris Flexen, and I expect a win on Sunday.

The Mariners starter has an ERA of 7.79 as he has struggled with his control. Flexen has walked nearly as many batters (8) as he has struck out (11) and that's going to be an issue against a Cardinals lineup that are elite at putting the ball in play and can make Flexen pay if he isn't throwing strikes.

St. Louis counters with Jack Flaherty, who has avoided trouble in his return from injury in 2023, but his underlying metrics are admittedly concerning. He has a glistening 2.95 ERA through four starts, but he has a FIP of 5.52 as he leads the big leagues in walks with 17. Some blowup starts could be on the way, but I don't think the Mariners are the team to take advantage.

I'm not sure Flaherty's issues will come into play on Sunday, though. The Mariners are 20th in walk percentage this season and are hitting just .228 as a group. I believe the Cardinals have the edge on the mound and should scrap out a win to close out the series against the Mariners.

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Game odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.