Saturday afternoon baseball and we will see the St Louis Cardinals take on the Cincinnati Reds in game 2 of their 3 game set from Cincinnati. The game is scheduled for a 4:05 (ET) pm start time and it will be televised live on Fox. Currently the odds have Cincinnati favored at -117, while St Louis is dogs of +110. The total for the game sits at 9 runs.
Free Analysis: St. Louis had won four of five heading into the All-Star Break as it continues to pursue division co-leaders Cincinnati and Pittsburgh. The Cardinals (46-41) led Friday's series opener 2-1 in the seventh inning until first baseman Allen Craig's throwing error allowed two runs to score, paving the way for the Reds to win 5-3. Brandon Phillips had three hits and scored twice for Cincinnati (48-38), which moved into a first-place tie atop the NL Central with Pittsburgh. The Cardinals, 2 1/2 games out of first, have reason to be excited Saturday. Sidelined since May because of a knee injury, St. Louis' Lance Berkman is expected to come off the disabled list in Cincinnati - one of his favorite places to hit. He is 5 for 13 against Cincinnati this season and his 23 homers at Great American Ball Park are the most by any visiting player. Despite this success, Berkman hasn't had much against probable starter Mike Leake (3-6, 4.01 ERA), going 1 for 11. Although Berkman could struggle in his first game in two months, Lohse (9-2, 2.79) seemingly shouldn't have much trouble. He has a 1.59 ERA in his last six starts against the Reds, surrendering two runs or less in each. Lohse has also permitted two runs in winning each of his last three starts, and has a 2.01 ERA in his last seven. Riding a four-game win streak, the Reds try to even the season series with St. Louis when their weekend set resumes today. Second baseman Brandon Phillips continues to be Cincinnati's catalyst. He went 3-for-4 with a double and two runs scored Friday, giving him six hits in the last two games. Joey Votto is 2 for 5 against Lohse this season, and fellow All-Star Jay Bruce is 2 for 6. Mike Leake gets the ball for the Reds and he has been enjoying similar success lately. He had a 1.74 ERA in his final four starts before the break, shaving more than a run off his ERA from 5.05. He struck out 18 and walked two in that span, but for the season, batters are hitting .272 against him and he is 1-2 with a 6.06 ERA in four career appearances against the Cardinals.
Free Pick: Gonna look to the Under in this one. Kyle Lohse gets the call for the Cards today and he has been very consistent this year. Kyle Has a 2.79 ERA overall and a 2.79 ERA on the road. He has a 2.01 ERA in his last 7 starts and hasn't allowed more than 3 ER's in any of those starts, while in his last 3 starts on the road he has allowed a total of 4 ER's. Kyle has also faced the Reds 5 times since 2009 and has a 1.41 ERA in those starts, not allowing more than 2 ER's in any of them and he should keep it going today vs a Cincy offense that has put up just 3.8 rpg in their last 11 games. The Cards offense hasn't been that great of late as well, as they have averaged just 4.2 rpg in their last 11 games, compared to their season average of 4.95 rpg. Mike Leake has a 5.15 ERA at home this year, but overall he has been pitching very good of late. In his last 3 starts he has a 1.88 ERA, while in his last 10 starts he has allowed more than 3 ER's in a game just once. He has been very consistent and should have a good showing vs a struggling Cards offense. I expect both starters to have good games in this one as the game hits around 7 runs at most.
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MLB Free Picks: St Louis Cardinals at Cincinnati Reds BettingWhat baseball bettors need to know about Cardinals at Reds on Saturday (7/14/12) - with Pregame.com's Vegas Runner and host Marco D'Angelo.