Cardinals vs. Reds prediction and odds for Tuesday, May 23 (Wainwright can't be this bad for long)

St. Louis Cardinals starting pitcher Adam Wainwright (50)
St. Louis Cardinals starting pitcher Adam Wainwright (50) / Joe Puetz-USA TODAY Sports

The St. Louis Cardinals came into Cincinnati as one of the hottest teams in baseball and while the Reds needed 10 innings to do it, they finally cooled off the Cards. The Reds took a 6-5 win on a walk-off sacrifice fly from Nick Senzel. The Cardinals are now 21-28 even with the 20-27 Reds. Tonight is Game 2 of this four-gamer in the NL Central and the Cardinals will turn to their veteran to get them into the win column.

St. Louis will hand the ball to Adam Wainwright to make his fourth start of the season and 394th of his career. Wainwright is 1-0 with a 5.74 ERA and will be opposed by 2-2 Graham Ashcraft. Ashcraft has made nine starts for Cincy and has a 4.84 ERA after a tremendous start to the year.

Let’s get into the odds for Game 2. 

Cardinals vs. Reds odds, run line and total

Cardinals vs. Reds prediction and pick

At the start of the season, Ashcraft looked like he was going to be a rock in this Cincinnati rotation and he finished April with a 2.10 ERA in five starts. May has been a disaster after a stellar start on May 2, he has allowed 18 runs in his last 12.1 innings on 22 hits with five walks to just nine strikeouts. Things have really gone south, but it’s time for water to find its level. There is no way that Ashcraft will continue to be this bad for long, just like there was no way he was going to be as good as he was in April all year.

The 25-year-old has a below average strikeout rate and whiff rate, as well as a below average walk rate, but he doesn’t allow a lot of hard contact and is 82nd percentile in barrel rate. His expected ERA is 4.51 and his FIP is 4.24, both indicating some positive regression coming his way. 

Wainwright is in a similar spot. He has a 5.74 ERA, but a FIP of 4.88. The issue right now is that he’s not missing bats and his strikeouts per nine innings, 4.6, is a career low. His lower FIP indicates that he could see some improvement coming. However, his expected ERA of 8.45 says differently. The rest of the NL Central has just seen Wainwright succeed for too long for him to continue to be a disaster on the mound. It’s not like he’s lost his fastball, because that happened three years ago and he still finished seventh in Cy Young voting in 2021. 

The Cardinals have been one of the best offenses in baseball in May, under 10 nearly cashed last night and I like Ashcraft and Wainwright to both have bounce back starts so, let’s ride the under again. 

Follow all Josh Yourish’s bets HERE

Game odds refresh periodically and are subject to change