Daily Bet: Cardinals (-125) vs. Reds

So last night in Dallas, it’s 0-0 with less than five minutes to play in the first half, and I’m patting myself on the back so vigorously for recommending the under that I sprained my shoulder. And then Tony Romo remembered he was Tony Romo, and five interceptions later the Bears walk off with a 34-18 victory, and I’m sitting in stunned silence with a losing ticket and a bum wing. The silver lining? At least I’m not a Cowboys fan.

Two days left in baseball’s regular season, and I’m looking for the streaking Cardinals to secure the final playoff spot in the National League. St. Louis clinched at least a tie for the second wild card with Monday’s 4-2 win over Cincinnati, and a victory tonight sends the defending champs back to the postseason and eliminates the Dodgers.

As was the case down the stretch last year, the Redbirds are playing their best baseball at the most important time, going 11-3 in their last 14 games (including 6-1 at home). Granted, two of the three losses came with former ace Chris Carpenter on the mound, but it’s not like the veteran right-hander pitched poorly; after missing the first 5 1/2 months of the season recovering from injury, Carpenter allowed two runs in each contest (both on the road), surrendering just nine hits and one walk in 11 innings.

Carpenter has been dominant in new Busch Stadium (32-14, 2.58 ERA), and he has monster career
numbers against Cincinnati (14-4, 2.48 ERA in 23 starts, with the Cardinals going 12-3 in the last 15). And while Reds starter Mat Latos has been terrific this year (13-4, 3.52 ERA), he’s been anything but against the Cardinals, going 1-4 with a 10.24 ERA in six starts. Let me put those numbers into perspective: Latos has allowed 33 runs, 45 hits and 12 walks in 29 innings, with St. Louis batting .363 as a team—including .464 in three games at Busch, where Latos is 0-3 with an 18.82 ERA.

Rating:★ ★ ★ ★

Monday’s Result: Bears-Cowboys UNDER 411Ž2 (Loss)

Record: 52-42