It’s Friday, and that means it’s time to go big! Let’s back the Reds as underdogs tonight at +155, because they are red hot.

The Reds travel to St. Louis to face the division-rival Cardinals for tonight’s contest. Cincinnati is five games out of first place in the division, while the Cardinals are eight games removed. Both teams will be trying to make up ground on the first-place Brewers.

After a hot streak in May, the Cardinals have cooled off considerably, mustering only 2.42 runs per game across the past two weeks of play (29th), and winning only three of their last 10 contests. The Reds are trending in the opposite direction, averaging 5.29 runs per game (sixth) across that same span. They have won five of their last 10, including three of their last four games.

Starting tonight’s game for the Reds will be righty Ben Lively. Lively has pitched to a 3.03 ERA this season across six games played, four of which he started. Lively had a rough outing on Sunday vs. the Brewers, allowing five earned runs, but Statcast still has his xERA at only 3.72. He should be able to keep the Reds in this game as the Cardinals have been struggling offensively.

Lefty Jordan Montgomery gets the start for the Cardinals. Montgomery is not striking out many batters and his ERA sits at 4.23. The Reds have a .276 batting average this year vs. lefties (seventh) with a .759 OPS (11th). They should be able to get to Montgomery.

Mark J. Rebilas/USA Today Sports

Unless you've been on a darkness retreat, you've heard the Reds have been boosted by young rookie Elly De La Cruz, who has an OPS of 1.371 with a home run and a stolen base in just three games played. As it turns out, his splits vs. lefties in the minors were also impressive. In 40 plate appearances vs. lefties at Triple-A, De La Cruz hit .324 with a .916 OPS.

We bet on a home run prop for De La Cruz on Wednesday, and we think he’s going to be a big part of the game again tonight. Let’s take a total bases prop of over 1.5 at a +135 payout for the speedy slugger. A home run prop is paying +550 tonight if you want to take a bigger swing.

The Cardinals are 8-12 as the home favorite this year, and that’s not enough to convince me they benefit from home-field advantage.

Give me the Reds on the moneyline for the upset.

The Bets: Reds ML +155 | Elly De La Cruz over 1.5 total bases +135

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