After a slow start to the year, it’s a surprise to absolutely nobody that the St. Louis Cardinals have figured things out.
They just took three of four games from the Dodgers over the weekend and at 21-27 are only five games out of first place in the NL Central.
They are 11-3 in their last 14 games. The Cincinnati Reds, to nobody’s surprise, are last in the Central at 19-27 and have lost four straight games.
For Game 1 of this four-game series in Cincinnati, the Cardinals will send Jordan Montgomery to the mound and he will be opposed by Brandon Williamson. Montgomery is 2-6 with a 4.21 ERA and Williamson has a 1.59 ERA in one career start.
Let’s take a look at the odds for this NL Central rivalry.
Cardinals vs. Reds odds, run line and total
Cardinals vs. Reds prediction and pick
Montgomery has had a few rough starts this season including allowing six runs over five innings earlier this month, but he’s been very consistent and three of his six losses his offense has gotten shut out.
He has lost all three starts this month yet in two of three he had strong outings. His issue has been the longball and in Cincinnati that can be an even bigger issue because it’s a true hitter’s park.
Montgomery has a 3.82 FIP which could indicate some improvement coming to his ERA, but his expected ERA is 4.24 which is 46th percentile in the league and he has a 36th percentile expected slugging percentage.
In May, the Red are 22nd in OPS and 23rd in runs scored. The Cardinals have scored the most runs this month just not when Montgomery is on the mound.
The Cardinals absolutely seem like the best offense to back in baseball right now. Nolan Gorman has an OPS over 1.000 on the year and Nolan Arenado has a 1.058 OPS this month with seven home runs and 20 RBI.
However, it’s a real thing when teams can’t give a specific pitcher run support and they have lost seven straight times when Montgomery has taken the mound. I’ll take the under in this one.
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Game odds refresh periodically and are subject to change