The St. Louis Cardinals will begin a three-game series with the host San Francisco Giants on Friday night. This will be the first time these two teams have faced off this season, with a four-game series in September also scheduled.
In The Chase
The Cardinals are currently 43-42 and in third place in the National League Central. St. Louis is 4-6 over its last 10 games, including winning their last two, putting them just 1.5 games back from the first-place Brewers and Cubs in the division.
Dakota Hudson will be getting the start for the Cardinals in their first game of the series against the Giants. The 24-year-old right-handed starter is currently 6-4 this season with a 3.40 ERA and 62 strikeouts. In his last outing, Hudson allowed seven runs (one earned) over 1 2/3 innings. He went on to take the loss against the Padres 12-2.
Hudson will look to bounce back after his shortest start of the season. He allowed just seven total earned runs over six starts in June and will look to continue that pace in July.
While the youth has led St. Louis pitching this season, the offense has been on the shoulders of the veterans. The 28-year-old Marcell Ozuna leads the team in batting average with .259, home runs with 20, and RBI with 62, though he’s currently on the injured list.
The only St. Louis Cardinals player in the All-Star Game for the National League will be their shortstop Paul DeJong. DeJong also has a .259 average along with 13 home runs and 36 runs batting in.
Long Road Ahead
The Giants are currently 39-47 and in dead last in the NL West, 19 games back from the first-place Los Angeles Dodgers. Despite their weak record overall, the Giants are 6-4 in their last 10 games and enter their series against the Cardinals on a four-game win streak after sweeping the Padres in San Diego.
Starting the series for the Giants will be Drew Pomeranz. The 30-year-old had three separate games in June where he did not give up any earned runs. Despite pitching well, he was 1-2 in five starts because the Giants were not able to get the runs to support him. Pomeranz is 2-8 so far this season with a 6.25 ERA and 77 strikeouts.
Kevin Pillar leads the Giants in home runs with 12 and RBI with 46. The Giants’ batting-average leader is veteran Pablo Sandoval with .287. San Francisco has had the bats rolling lately, over their three games against the Padres, the Giants outscored them 30 to 11.
The Giants will be represented by Will Smith, the relief pitcher, not the actor, in the 2019 All-Star Game.
What to expect
This series will be each team’s last before the All-Star break, and both will be looking to finish the first half of the season on a strong note. The Cardinals have the better team, but the Giants have been playing better recently. I like the Cardinals to take this game, they have the better pitcher, who I think will slow down the Giants hot offense and bring them back to reality.