The St. Louis Cardinals and Cincinnati Reds begin a four-game series at Great American Ballpark on Thursday. St. Louis holds the edge in the season-long series thus far, taking four of the seven games played.
The Cardinals are currently 48-46 this season and sit in third place in the NL Central, three games behind the Chicago Cubs. St. Louis has looked good over its last five games, going 4-1 after winning their last game against the Pirates at home. The Cardinals will hit the road to face the Reds in their next series. They are 20-26 on the road so far this year.
Starting on the mound for the Cardinals will be Dakota Hudson. Hudson is 8-4 this season after picking up the win in his last outing over the Arizona Diamondbacks where he allowed just two runs over six innings. Hudson leads the Cardinals in wins as well as ERA with 3.48. The 24-year-old starter will look to continue his good season as well as his current hot streak, as he has won four of his last five decisions.
The Cardinals have handled a tough situation pretty well over the last month. They currently have Matt Carpenter, Yadier Molina, and Marcell Ozuna still on the 10-day IL. Filling in for Carpenter has been Tommy Edman, a 24-year-old infielder who has had an impact with key hits to help them stay above water and even thrive with some of their stars out.
Tommy Edman is just showing off! 😱 pic.twitter.com/aybSDNyyD7
— St. Louis Cardinals (@Cardinals) July 17, 2019
The Cardinals owe their recent success to their starting pitching. Look for them to get creative with more young players like this to get the bats going.
The NL Central is a tight division where everyone has a chance to win. St. Louis had the bats rolling early in the season, and now that they have fallen off, the starting pitching has stepped up and kept them in the race. If the Cardinals can get all the wheels turning at once, they have a great chance to be playing deep into October.
Might Be Trouble
The Reds are now 43-50 this season and sit in last place in the NL Central after taking a bit of a beating at Wrigley against the Cubs in their last series. The Reds have had some ups and downs this season but always seem to play tough against their division. Most last-place teams are easy games to foes, but the Reds seem to be a thorn in the side of each team trying to run away with the division. The Reds will back at home facing the Cardinals where they are 24-21 this season.
Tanner Roark will be getting the start against the Cardinals to open the series. Roark is 5-6 this season and did not factor into the decision in his last start when the Reds defeated the Rockies 17-9 where he gave up three home runs. Despite having a losing record this season, the 32-year-old veteran carries a 3.99 ERA with 95 strikeouts. The Reds have been good at home this season and against divisional teams, so look for Roark to bring his A-game against a weak-hitting Cardinals ball club.
Derek Dietrich, who has been a great surprise for the Reds this season, is currently listed as day-to-day and may not get the start in their game against the Cardinals. However, look for third baseman Eugenio Suarez to get Cincinnati’s bats rolling as he currently leads the team with 23 home runs and 58 runs batted in.
What To Expect
The Cardinals have the better record and better pitcher on the mound for this game, but the Reds have been tough against the division and strong at home. I like the Reds to get back to form and slow down the hot Cardinals and get the win at home.