US Sports Betting Industry Expert
Following one of the worst Aprils of all-time, many baseball fans gave up on the Cincinnati Reds. It made sense, too – after 25 games the Reds were an MLB-worst 3-22. In fact, it was the worst 25-game start to a season in MLB since the 2003 Detroit Tigers also started 3-22. The '03 Tigers are the only other Modern Era team to start the season with three wins through 25 games.
The 1988 Baltimore Orioles had the worst 25-game start in MLB's Modern Era (since 1900) at 2-23.
But it seemed as if things had turned around for the Queen City team that would then win 15 of their next 25 games. However, they’re back to their ways of early in the season and have lost seven of their last nine, including four in a row. That four-game losing streak includes a pair of losses to the Cardinals, who they’ll face on Sunday to try to get off the schneid.
Unfortunately, Vegas doesn’t see it happening as they are +155 on the moneyline in Sunday’s series finale. We grabbed today's odds from Caesars. If you're located in a legal state and ready to get started, make sure to use our code VIMAXSPORT15 at signup.
To make matters worse for Cincinnati, starting catcher Tyler Stephenson suffered a broken thumb this week and has been placed on the IL. The Reds are 3-17 in the 20 games they’ve played this season in which Stephenson did not start.
The good news for the Reds is that they’ll send recent call-up, 24-year-old Graham Ashcraft to the hill for the afternoon contest. The team is 4-0 in Ashcraft’s four starts and he sports a sparkling 1.69 ERA across 23.2 innings.
He’s allowed just 20 baserunners in those innings and has pitched into the seventh inning in three of the four starts. They’ll need him to pitch deep into the game because the bullpen sports an MLB-worst 5.16 ERA and they blew yet another save against the Cardinals on Saturday.
Perhaps that could create some value on the earlier run lines for the Reds. Cincinnati is +130 on the first-three innings moneyline at Caesars and +165 on the five-inning line. If you’re located in a legal state, you can bet either of those lines using our promo code VIMAXSPORT15 at signup.
On the other side, the Cardinals currently lead the NL Central at 34-26 and the series against the Reds has come at the right time; St. Louis was swept in a three-game set at Tampa Bay prior to their back-to-back victories over their NL Central rivals.
St. Louis will send Dakota Hudson to the bump for Sunday’s matinee. Hudson is coming off back-to-back strong outings, completing seven innings for the first and second time this year while allowing just one run in each outing. He also struck out six batters in his last start, a no-decision against the Ray, which is a season-high for the 27-year-old righty.
He’s gone five consecutive starts without allowing a home run, a stretch of 28.1 innings; that span has dropped his ERA from 3.56 to 2.76. The only Reds player projected to start on Sunday who has ever homered off of Hudson is Colin Moran. But Moran is just 2-11 in his career against the Cardinals’ starter. Reds’ star slugger Joey Votto has faced Hudson 24 times in his career and has collected just one extra-base hit, a double.
Written by Dan Zaksheske, our US sports betting industry expert.