The Cincinnati Reds prepare for a three-game series against the St. Louis Cardinals on the final weekend of the MLB regular season. Postseason and World Series hopes are on the brink for the Reds, who will essentially need to win out and get some help from other Wild Card contenders to play in October.
Heading into Friday, the Reds are 1.5 games back of the final Wild Card spot. The Miami Marlins may need to complete a game they are ahead 2-1 in the ninth inning on Oct. 2. We’ll explain what that all means, plus the latest odds, props, and predictions for the weekend.
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Playoff Scenarios for the Reds
It’s a pretty simple pathway for Cincinnati at this point. They need to sweep the Cardinals this weekend to have a realistic chance to make the postseason. After that, Miami needs to lose at least three games and the Chicago Cubs need to lose at least one game.
CIN to reach the playoffs: | CIN to win World Series:
The Reds own the tiebreaker over the Cubs, but they don’t over the Marlins. On Thursday, the Cubs helped with their third straight loss. So even if the Cubs go 2-1 this weekend, the Reds would own the tiebreaker if they go 3-0.
The Marlins will be the biggest thorn in the side. If you assume they can win that game in the ninth inning against the New York Mets, then the Marlins need to get swept against the Pittsburgh Pirates.
If the Reds lose one game this weekend, the Cubs have to go 1-2 and the Marlins must lose the remaining four games, which includes the suspended game. Lose two games, and it’s over.
Reds vs. Cardinals Odds: Game 1
- First Pitch – 8:15 p.m. ET
- TV/Live Stream – MLB.tv, MLBN (where available), Bally Sports Regionals
Cincinnati is a slight favorite to take the first game of the series. FanDuel Kentucky lists them at -116 on Friday morning. The Over/Under is set at 9 runs at FanDuel as well. If you like the Reds to win by two runs or more, the run line is set at +136.
Brandon Williamson will start for the Reds. He’s been serviceable in recent starts, but hasn’t gone far in the month of September. His longest start was 4.1 innings against Pittsburgh last time out.
St. Louis will have Jake Woodford on the mound. In similar fashion, he’s only gone 3.2 innings over his last two starts. Neither starter has given up a lot of runs, but they average about 5.6 hits given up in each of their last five starts.
If you’re looking for a strikeout prop, it might be best to avoid these pitchers. Neither has racked them up consistently, and the threat of being pulled early (especially for Williamson) makes it tough to recommend starting pitching props.
Reds Batting Props
It’s not worth overcomplicating things here. The Reds are in desperation mode, and you can trust the team’s top batters to perform well in big situations.
Spencer Steer should be a focus. The team’s leading hitter has a consistent connection with at least one hit in 8 of his last 10 games. He’s also raked in an RBI in three of his last four games.
TJ Friedl connected on a home run in four consecutive games between Sep. 22-26. He’s been an RBI machine with at least one over his last six games. The pace of his home runs may not continue, but we’d recommend sprinkling some money on him over the weekend.
Naturally, Elly De La Cruz will be a hot player to consider. He’s been fairly consistent hitting the ball with at least one hit in four of his last five games. He’s also recorded two stolen bases in three of his last five contests.
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