Cardinals vs. Reds
Cincinnati Reds catcher Tyler Stephenson, right, looks on as St. Louis Cardinals' Paul Goldschmidt, center right, celebrates at home plate with Tommy Edman (19) after hitting a two-run home run during the first inning of a baseball game Monday, Aug. 30, 2021, in Cincinnati. (AP Photo/Jeff Dean)

Cardinals vs. Reds, Aug. 31

This series has big implications for the second spot in the NL wildcard race. The Reds currently hold the second spot in the NL wildcard, but a good series here for the Cardinals could completely change that. The Cards sit three and a half games behind Cincinnati for the second spot in the wildcard and with a sweep of the series they could blow past the slumping Padres and be right in the playoff picture in the final month of the season. Do the Cards have enough left in the tank for a playoff push? Can the Reds snap their mini slump and give themselves a good cushion in the wildcard?



Slippery Slope: Reds
Cincinnati has slipped lately and have lost two straight as they head into a series that will have a big impact on their playoff hopes for this season. The Reds are seven games over .500 at home so far this season and they lead this head to head series 8-5. For this matchup, Sonny Gray will take the hill, which should brighten the picture for Reds backers as they have won his last three starts where he has only allowed three runs in his past three outings, with two of them allowing no runs and a combined four hits. The Reds are 5-1 in Gray’s last six starts and he has allowed two or less runs in four of those starts. The Reds have hit Mikolas pretty well over his career. They are hitting .279 in 68 at bats against the veteran right hander. Eugenio Suarez has had significant success hitting 6 for 11 and hitting .545 off Mikolas in his career. 

The Time is Now: Cardinals
The Cardinals need to start stringing wins together and it starts with this series. A pool level sweep here would be a massive confidence boost to the Cards who have been playing .500 baseball over their last 10 games. Mikolas has been one of their best starters as of late, only allowing eight runs over his last five starts. The only problem has been the Cardinals offense has not always helped him out and they lost some of his quality starts. Mikolas has struggled against the Reds this season. Earlier in the season in his two starts, he did surrender a combined eight runs and give up three homers. Though, the Cardinals lineup does have pretty good numbers against Gray. As a team they are hitting .269 in 78 at bats lifetime against Gray. Tommy Edman is the Cardinals most consistent against him going 5-11 and hitting a solid .455. The Cardinals did hand Gray his worst outing of the year so far in his last start against them, getting the right hander for eight runs in only three and a third innings.

Reds VS Cardinals: The Pick
Both of these pitchers have had their struggles against the opposing team, but those starts were earlier in the season and both pitchers have been throwing lights out recently. With the implications of this series and how these pitchers have been executing and the pretty high total here were going to play the f5 total under 4.5. With both bullpens ERA’s right around five this one might pile on the runs late but it’s hard to tell if it will be enough for the full game to go over with these two starters so we will stick with the F5 in this one.

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