In: MLB Free Picks13 May 2011
The Reds limped through the end of April chasing the always hard-to-swallow tax day, April 15, with 10 losses and only six wins. So far in May they’ve gotten back on track and have again resumed their rise as one of the most prolific offensive teams in baseball. They’ve won six of their last 10 games with the 47 points they’ve put on the scoreboard..
The Reds are second in the Major Leagues in runs scored, seventh in hits, sixth in team batting average and second only to the Yankees in home runs. One of the only teams producing more offense than the Reds will be their opponent tonight at the Great American Ballpark.
The St. Louis Cardinals have scored 58 runs in the last eleven games. They also lead the Majors in team batting average, .290, runs scored, 202, and on-base percentage at .361. Yet, they’ve only won six of their last eleven games.
Bronson Arroyo and Kyle Loshe will take the mound and the responsibility for shutting down one of the best-hitting teams in baseball in an important head-to-head NL Central matchup among the favorites to be in contention for the pennant in the fall. Both pitchers will essentially be facing down the same nightmare.
Arroyo has had two ugly starts this season. There was the four-inning, five-run performance against the Pirates April 15 that essentially kick-started the Reds’ end-of-April spiral, and then there was the three homers and five earned runs he gave up to the Marlins May 1.
While what I’m about to say is completely illogical and worthless observation, it is at least interesting. Through seven starts Arroyo has stuck to the pattern of two good starts, a bad start, two good starts and a bad start. The Cubs scored only one run in 7.1 innings against Arroyo in his last appearance. If the pattern continues…
That observation is especially worthless when one looks at what Kyle Lohse has done in 2011.
Lohse has allowed just one run or fewer in four of his seven starts. He had a rough outing in his first start of the season. His only other trip-up was his tangle with the Marlins May 2, just one day after they teed off on Arroyo. How’s that for a small-world, parallel life scenario?
Lohse has been untouchable at times. For example, the 16 consecutive scoreless innings he racked up against the Nationals and Astros who managed to collect a total of only six hits against him.
The Reds’ bats have been hot lately, but I don’t think they’ve been any hotter than Lohse’s right arm. Even in this road start, I like Lohse’s chances of keeping his team in a position to win into the late innings of the game.
He’s also got Jason Motte who can step in if things get stressful near the end of the game. Motte has struck out 15 batters in 16 innings and has collected an ERA of 2.24 and five holds. There’s nothing better than knowing Jason has your back on Friday 13th.
Pick: Take the St. Louis Cardinals (+110)