Cardinals vs. Red Sox MLB Odds, Picks, Predictions: Why Value Lies on St. Louis (Saturday, June 18)
Photo by Rick Ulreich/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Andrew Knizner & Dakota Hudson (Cardinals)
Cardinals vs. Red Sox Odds
|Red Sox Odds||-122|
|Over/Under||10 (-115 / -105)|
|Time||7:15 p.m. ET|
|Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute MLB odds here.|
The Cardinals and Red Sox are both tearing it up at the moment, particularly at the plate. Nothing should change on Saturday with two wavering starters taking the hill following a hotly-contested 6-5 game on Friday.
With a deservingly-high total, is there any value left in betting on both offenses, or should we turn to a side?
Let’s take a deeper dive into this one.
Cardinals Winning With Offense
We’ll start here with the weaker of the two offenses — if you even want to call it that. The Cardinals sit 13th in wRC+ over the last two weeks, sporting a solid .255 average and a better .324 on-base percentage.
With that said, the actual damage St. Louis is doing isn’t exactly significant.
The Cardinals are making a lot of contact, ranking ninth in that regard and boasting a nice, low 19.6% strikeout rate. They’ve only hit 13 home runs in the last 14 days, though, and rank 17th at the plate.
Even still, the Cardinals enter this game with five wins in the last eight games, with one more narrowly slipping away on Friday.
Dakota Hudson will be the man entrusted with helping the Cardinals avoid a series loss on Saturday, and to this point, that’s been a good thing. Hudson has gone 4-3 in 12 starts with a 3.29 ERA, but he’s done so in stunning fashion.
The right-hander has struck out just 13.5% of the hitters he’s faced, relying on his sinker to get outs. The only issue is that his sinker has gone for a .304 batting average and a .348 expected batting average.
He’s allowed a 42.8% Hard-Hit Rate — which is in the bottom 26% of the league — and he owns a 4.42 expected ERA.
Crawford Hasn’t Been Good For Sox
The Red Sox sit one spot ahead of the Cardinals in wRC+ over the last 14 days (in 12th place), but they’ve been ever-so-slightly more convincing.
For starters, they’re rocking a .141 Isolated Power and an even-better 19.5% strikeout rate. They’re sixth in contact rate and have hit .260.
Above all else, they’ve won — Boston enters here with 12 victories in its last 15 tries.
Still, it’s hard to find a big gap between the two teams, which have fittingly scored exactly 60 runs each over the last two weeks.
That is, until you turn to the pitching matchup.
Yes, Kutter Crawford has been bad — a lot worse than Hudson. He enters with a 5.75 ERA in 15 2/3 innings this season.
However, in his last start against the Mariners, he lasted five innings and allowed just one hit and four walks. He made it through without giving up a run.
That’s all well and good, but it doesn’t change the fact that he has a 16% walk rate, 50% Hard-Hit Rate and has allowed seven barrels in 15 2/3 innings.
He’s been pretty ineffective whenever he’s taken the ball.
Cardinals-Red Sox Pick
Crawford’s scoreless start in Seattle was impressive, but it also came against a Seattle team that has been a dastardly one at the plate this year.
St. Louis has been better, and it’s actually had a leg-up on Boston in the exit velocity department lately.
The Cardinals have also walked a bit more than the Red Sox, nearing 8% in the last two weeks. I think their offense is well-equipped to deal with Crawford here, and I would back Hudson against a Boston team that is failing to drive the ball and make quality contact.
Pick: Cardinals ML (+104)