MLB Betting Preview: CIN Reds @ STL Cardinals (8/21/20)

After a back-and-forth opening game last night, the Reds and Cardinals continue their series in St. Louis on Friday. In another battle of right-handers, today’s meeting will feature Cincinnati’s Anthony DeScalfani versus St. Louis’ Dakota Hudson.

As we already have for tonight’s Phillies-Braves game, let’s find the best value MLB picks within this matchup.

Adam Wainwright

Cincinnati Reds at St. Louis Cardinals

Busch Stadium, St. Louis, MO – 8:15 PM ET

Game Info/Starting Pitchers:

CIN: Anthony DeScalfani – R (Last Season: 3.89 ERA, 4.43 FIP, 2.4 WAR, 166.2 IP)
STL: Dakota Hudson – R (Last Season: 3.35 ERA, 4.93 FIP, 1.0 WAR, 174.2 IP)

Odds & Betting lines (DraftKings)

Total: 8.5 | Over: -124 | Under: +102
CIN | Moneyline: -118 | Run Line (-1.5): +133
STL| Moneyline: +102 | Run Line (+1.5): -159

Game Notes

Where’s the Rabbit’s Foot?

If you just went by his ERA, it would appear as if Dakota Hudson had a great first full season in MLB. In fact, his 3.35 mark was within the top 20 in baseball. Fortunately, we have better ways to evaluate pitcher performance in 2020. And they don’t imply Hudson to be a 3.35 pitcher–or anything close.

For starters, Hudson’s FIP of 4.93 was well below average for an NL arm. It is why he only accrued 1 WAR despite making 32 starts. Going deeper, it doesn’t get any prettier. The former 1st-rounder performed similarly below-average when it came to other important indicators such as SIERA, walk rate, and strikeout rate. Overall, the righty enjoyed an unsustainable deal of luck in 2019.

Hudson may very well become a good arm someday, but that day hasn’t come just yet.

Betting Picks

STL +1.5 (-159)

While Hudson may prevent the Cardinals from securing the win, the rest of the team should compensate enough to keep things close.

On the other side of things, Anthony DeScalfani is a solid pitcher, but not much more. Meanwhile, the Cardinals still have the bullpen and offensive firepower to compete with the Reds’ revamped lineup, COVID cases and all.

Rich Torres
Rich Torres Sportswriter at US-Odds