The St. Louis Cardinals and Cincinnati Reds will open up a National League Central series Monday afternoon, with the first pitch scheduled for 4:10 p.m. ET at the Great American Ballpark
St. Louis Cardinals vs. Cincinnati Reds
St. Louis edged Cincinnati and Pittsburgh in capturing the division crown, but ultimately lost the 2013 World Series to the Boston Red Sox. The Cardinals are favorites to repeat this season, especially with a healthy Allen Craig back in the lineup, who led the majors with a .454 batting average with runners in scoring position. The franchise is 31-32 on the road with a money line of -100 to -125 the last two seasons, with the OVER going 32-29 in that situation.
Cardinals starting pitcher Adam Wainwright led MLB with 241.2 innings pitched and ranked third in the NL with 219 strikeouts a season ago, as he prepares to take the mound for the third time on Opening Day. The right-hander went 10-3 with a 3.36 ERA in 17 road outings in 2013, with opposing hitters batting .276 against him. In 20 career appearances (15 starts) versus the Reds, Wainwright has compiled a 5-9 record and 5.11 ERA.
Cincinnati opens the season with a MLB-high eight players on the disabled list, including closer Aroldis Chapman, who got hit in the forehead by a line drive during Spring Training. The Reds were eliminated by the Pittsburgh Pirates in a one-game playoff last year—the third time in the last four seasons that the franchise has been unable to get past the first round. Cincinnati is 9-6 as a home underdogs of +100 to +125 since the start of the 2012 campaign.
Reds starting pitcher Johnny Cueto went 5-2 with a 2.82 ERA in 11 starts last season, including a 5-2 mark and 1.91 ERA in five home efforts. The right-hander has compiled a 25-15 record and 2.67 ERA in 57 daytime appearances, with opposing hitters batting .233 against him. In 15 career outings versus the Cardinals, Cueto has put together a 4-4 record and 4.66 ERA, but didn’t face them in 2013.
Sports bettors will likely back the Cardinals due to their 29-11 record in their last 40 games as a favorite.