The St. Louis Cardinals take on the Cincinnati Reds in the third game of a four-game series on Wednesday, May 24. First pitch is scheduled for 6:40 p.m. ET from Great American Ball Park. Steven Matz (0-5, 5.05 ERA) will pitch for the Cardinals, and Ben Lively (1-2, 2.45 ERA) takes the mound for the Reds.
St. Louis is a -155 moneyline favorite at DraftKings Sportsbook, with Cincy coming in at +135. The total is set at 11.
Cardinals-Reds picks: Wednesday, May 24
Out: SP Nick Lodolo (leg), RP Fernando Cruz (shoulder), OF TJ Friedl (oblique), RP Tony Santillan (back), 1B Joey Votto (shoulder), RP Connor Overton (elbow), OF Henry Ramos (hip)
Out: OF Dylan Carlson (ankle), OF Tyler O’Neill (back), SP/RP Jake Woodford (shoulder), INF Jose Fermin (quad)
Steven Matz vs. Ben Lively
Matz had a tough April, but the lefty has been improving in May, allowing one or fewer earned runs in two of his last three starts. He usually lasts around five innings, and held the Los Angeles Dodgers runless over 4.2 frames in his latest outing while striking out six batters.
Lively has started just three games this season and has lasted five innings or less in each of them. He has allowed three earned runs over 11 frames while striking out 10 batters and walking one.
The last two games in this series have seen totals of 11 and 13, and without stars on the mound on Wednesday, I think we will see this trend continue. Clearly, both offenses are in a good groove right now, and I don’t see Matz or Lively getting in the way of that to an extent that would push the under here, even with such a high total.
Pick: Over 11
These two teams have split the first two games of the series, and I think that the Cardinals will take the third. They’ve been winning more consistently than the Reds have, and their lineup has been red-hot against right-handers. With the Cincinnati bullpen struggling this year, the Cards should be able to score enough to support Matz, who has been looking improved lately.