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August 17, 2016

There is one pick today.

Take St. Louis Cardinals (-105) on the ML against Houston Astros risking 3.15% to win 3%.
(Martinez and Fister must start for wager to have action)

Dallas Keuchel had a complete meltdown in the 6th inning last night, surrendering 4 runs and allowing the St Louis Cardinals to come away with an 8-5 victory. It was an extremely tough loss for the Astros, who are currently seeing their playoff hopes get further and further away with each passing loss. This is a team that is simply struggling at the moment and the pressure of potentially contending for a playoff spot may be starting to get to them. With such a deflating loss last night and a quick turnaround this afternoon, it will likely be difficult for them to rebound and come with a strong performance in this contest. While the Houston Astros will likely still be licking their wounds at the start of this contest, the St Louis Cardinals should be looking to continue the momentum that they built from last night and this short turnaround should work in their favor. The Cards have also been one of the best teams in the league when it comes to playing on the highway this season as evidenced by their 35-23 overall record.

The pitching matchup for this contest should also favor the Cardinals as Carlos Martinez is set to square off opposite Houston's Doug Fister. Fister was recently knocked around in his last start where he served up 5 earned runs on 8 hits over 7 innings against the lowly Minnesota Twins. Fister also hasn't had much success against the bats of St. Louis in his career as he has a 4.66 ERA in 3 lifetime appearances. Martinez will likely have the advantage on the mound this afternoon as not only does he have a solid ERA on the road this season (2.48 in 65.3 innings) but this will be the first time that the Astros' lineup has had a chance to see him. It's well known that it takes hitters some time to become adjusted to a certain pitcher's timing and delivery, which is why we often see rookie and younger pitchers come away with solid outings in their first few matchups. Martinez on the other hand has solid big league experience and the fact that Houston has not seen him, should allow him to have success in the first few times through the lineup.

Both of these teams are right in the mix of a potential playoff spot, however the Cardinals currently occupy the second and final NL Wild Card spot with both the Miami Marlins and Pittsburgh Pirates breathing firmly down their necks. Given the way that the Astros have been playing as of late, this is a winnable game for St Louis and one that they must have if they want to keep their competitors at bay. This will likely be a closely contested matchup, however, much like last night we expect the St Louis bats to strike late in the game and propel their team to another much needed victory this afternoon.

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