The St. Louis Cardinals have a great opportunity to get back into the playoff race this week as they host the Miami Marlins in a four-game series. St. Louis won the series opener on Monday night by a score of 5-0 and game two will take place on Tuesday. Miami will be a huge underdog all series long, just as they are in most games throughout the 2019 season.
The Marlins have just two wins in their last 11 games, and they are going to be sellers again at the trade deadline. Miami is now just 25-45 on the season and is in last place in the National League East. The Cardinals have now won four of their last five games to improve their record to 35-32 on the season. St. Louis finds itself in third place in the National League Central. The Cardinals are -204 over the Marlins in game two of the series.
Marlins Have No Offense
Not scoring any runs in the series opener is just another example of how broken the Marlins are on offense. Miami has hit just 51 home runs this season, which is well below the league average. Catcher Jorge Alfaro leads the team with just nine long balls, and shortstop Miguel Rojas is the only one hitting at least .270 so far this season. The Marlins won’t scare any opposing pitchers, and it’s going to be another long summer for fans in Miami.
Miami will be sending a young right-hander to the mound in this game for his second career Major League start. Jordan Yamamoto was impressive in his first outing, shutting out the Cardinals in seven innings pitched last week. The Marlins don’t have much of a bullpen, and their best chance to win will be a great outing from their youngster yet again.
Flaherty Needs to Pitch Better
The Cardinals have been struggling with injuries to their starting rotation, and they need a great start from one of their top pitchers in this game. Right-hander Jack Flaherty has the stuff to be an ace in the National League but has been struggling of late. Flaherty is 4-3 with a 4.28 earned run average so far this season but hasn’t won a start since May 14. If the Cardinals are going to get back in the playoff race, then Flaherty has to start pitching like an ace again.
The Cardinals have four players who have hit at least 10 home runs this season, but the rest of their lineup really lacks power. Marcell Ozuna leads the team with 18 home runs and 56 runs batted in, but he has been in a slump of late. St. Louis is still waiting for Paul Goldschmidt to really take off and start hitting like he can. Goldschmidt is hitting just .258 this season with 13 home runs and 28 runs batted in.
Cardinals Win Second Straight over Marlins
Playing against the Miami Marlins is a great recipe for turning your season around. Miami just doesn’t do anything very well, although they do have a talented prospect on the mound in this game. Look for the Cardinals to solve Yamamoto this time around and score enough runs to back Jack Flaherty. Bet the St. Louis Cardinals -204 over the Miami Marlins.