The Cincinnati Reds and St. Louis Cardinals square off on Sunday with first pitch set for 2:15 p.m. ET. The game takes place at Busch Stadium in St. Louis, Missouri and will be available to watch on ESPN+. Cincinnati will start Graham Ashcraft (4-2, 4.45 ERA), while St. Louis’ starter is the southpaw Steven Matz (3-3, 6.03 ERA).
The Reds (34-57) are still scoring runs, but the strong bullpen that helped them take two of three against the New York Yankees has disappeared. It didn’t help that starter Nick Lodolo got tattooed to the tune of five earned runs off five hits didn’t exactly help. Ashcraft will be hoping for a better result as he takes the mound for the 11th time this season. He faced the Cardinals on June 12th and pitched 4.2 innings and gave up nine hits and four earned runs while not factoring into the decision. Try not to get tired of seeing these divisional rivals play, as once the All-Star break ends, the Reds will host the Cardinals for a three-game set.
The Cardinals (50-44) have rebounded from a series loss against the Los Angeles Dodgers by picking up wins in the first two games of this series. On Saturday, the lineup erupted for 11 runs of offense on the back of Paul Goldschmidt and Lars Nootbar, who each homered and had three RBI. Matz was activated off the 15-day IL to pitch in this game. He last pitched on May 22 when he threw four pitches and had to leave the game against the Pittsburgh Pirates. His last full start came against the New York Mets, and he pitched five innings and gave up three hits and two earned runs while striking out seven.
Reds vs. Cardinals
Pitchers: Graham Ashcraft vs. Steven Matz
First pitch: 2:15 p.m. ET
Reds local broadcast: Bally Sports Ohio
Cardinals local broadcast: Bally Sports Midwest
Live stream: WatchESPN, ESPN app with an ESPN+ subscription
Odds, picks & predictions
Run Line: St. Louis -1.5
Run total: 8.5
Moneyline odds: Cincinnati +145, St. Louis -170
Moneyline pick: St. Louis -170
The Cardinals got to Ashcraft early the last time they faced him, collecting nine hits and four earned runs. We don’t know what Matz will look like in his return to the mound. St. Louis is hard to count out with Paul Goldschmidt in their lineup as he has his name firmly in the MVP conversation halfway through the season. This one should be closer than Saturday’s game, but the Cardinals will finish the sweep.
Player prop pick: Nolan Gorman over 0.5 hits (-190)
The lefty Gorman went 2-3 against Ashcraft when these teams met up earlier this season. He picked up a hit in each of the two games to start this season. Gorman will make it three in a row heading into the All-Star break by collecting at least one hit on Sunday.
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