The Cincinnati Reds (61-63) face the St. Louis Cardinals (66-57) for the first time since the All-star Break. The Reds need to make up some ground in the standings, and I can think of no better team to do that against than the 2nd place Cardinals.
The Cardinals won four of five last week, as Nick Kirby describes in his weekly Central Intelligence report.
The Reds had a rough weekend in Colorado, but Steve Mancuso gives us reason to believe in a 2014 Cincinnati Reds postseason.
Justin Masterson is making his 4th start for the Cardinals since being acquired from Cleveland. Masterson allowed 10 runs over 8 innings in his first two starts in a Cardinal uniform before turning in 7 shutout innings in his third start last week against Miami.
|John Lackey (career)||3.91||3.47||1.27||1.1||2.1||7.4|
John Lackey is also making his 4th start in a Cardinals uniform. In two of his three previous starts, he’s gone 7 innings and allowed just two runs in each game. His was bombed in one of his three starts against Baltimore for nine runs over five innings.
Lance Lynn is having a great year for the Cardinals. He is one-third of an inning shy of posting 8 consecutive quality starts. Over his last three starts, he has walked just three batters and struck out 16 over 20 innings.
I think the pitching match-ups favor the Reds. Hopefully, the Reds offense made the flight to St. Louis and gets a bump in play from the return of Brandon Phillips. I’m not counting on a Reds sweep of the Cardinals, but that would go a long way towards easing the pain of that bad Colorado series.