Cardinals vs Reds Prediction Today | MLB Odds, Expert Picks for Thursday, May 25
Pictured: Paul Goldschmidt. (Photo by Jeff Dean/Getty Images)
- The Reds host the Cardinals on Thursday in the finale of what's been a high-scoring series.
- Neither starting pitcher inspires much confidence, but our expert still feels there's clear value on one side.
- Continue reading for Doug Ziefel's Cardinals vs. Reds best bet.
Cardinals vs. Reds Odds
-118 / -104
-118 / -104
Balls have been flying in this series as the Reds and Cardinals have taken turns putting crooked numbers on the scoreboard. One quick look at the pitching matchup for this series finale points to the scoring barrage continuing, but the key for us is determining which team will come out on top.
Luke Weaver will get the ball for the Cincinnati Reds. Weaver has struggled mightily since being inserted into the rotation. He comes into this outing with a 6.54 ERA and a 1.52 WHIP.
Opposing him for the St. Louis Cardinals will be the veteran right-hander Miles Mikolas. Mikolas had a very rough start to the season, but has appeared to find his groove over his past few outings.
Can Mikolas keep it going while the Cardinals bats continue to flourish? Let’s take a closer look to find out.
The Cardinals come into this matchup as one of the hottest teams in baseball. They got off to a ridiculously slow start, but this lineup is loaded so we all expected St. Louis to make a run at some point.
Despite their recent hot streak, the Cardinals are still due for more improvement. They are fourth in xWOBACON and are tied for the highest xBA in the Majors. In addition, they have five hitters in their lineup with above-average hard-hit rates. Shockingly, that doesn’t include Nolan Arenado.
This scorching hot lineup has a tremendous matchup as they face Weaver. Weaver has been battered in his return to a big league rotation and ranks in the bottom 20% of all qualified pitchers average exit velocity, hard-hit rate and barrel rate.
Don’t let Weaver’s xERA fool you. He may be due for positive regression, but this afternoon, his numbers will get worse before they get better.
While I spent the section above tearing apart Weaver, Mikolas hasn’t proven to be much better. He comes into his 11th start of the season with a 4.77 ERA and ranks in the bottom 10% of the league in xBA and whiff rate.
However, Mikolas has found a way to right the ship. He hasn’t allowed more than three runs over his past seven starts and has a 1.17 WHIP in May. Unfortunately, there’s not much data to support his adjustment other than balls beginning to bounce his way.
Mikolas has fully committed to being a sinkerballer this season and it’s now his primary pitch. For Mikolas, it’s all about command and he’s beginning to move toward the top 10% walk rate he posted last season.
Mikolas should succeed against this over-achieving Reds lineup.
Cincinnati’s park aides the offense, which has helped the Reds otherwise subpar lineup. However, the Reds have the second-lowest xBA in the Majors and are last in hard-hit rate and average exit velocity.
Cardinals vs. Reds Betting Pick
The Cardinals are in line to end this series on a high note. Their lineup has been crushing the ball, and they’ll be facing a pitcher who hasn’t shown he can succeed against big league hitters.
While Mikolas’ number may not make him a pitcher to back, we have to be encouraged by his recent outings. He also gets to face one of the league’s worst lineups.
Back the Cardinals on the run line.
Pick: Cardinals -1.5
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