Reds (74-57) v Cardinals (76-54) Series Preview

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Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

Game 1 – Mike Leake (11-5, 3.12 ERA, 1.229 WHIP) v. Tyler Lyons (2-4, 5.09 ERA, 1.303 WHIP)

After a more than surprising first half of the season, Leake has stumbled during the second half. In his seven starts, he owns a 3-1 record, but his ERA is 4.32, his WHIP is 1.536 and he has served up a home run in three of his last four outings. He has produced three quality starts in those seven games.

In looking at those first half and second half numbers, Leake’s walking more opponents (2.0 BB/9 compared to 2.8 BB/9 for the second half) and opposing hitters are batting 57 points higher (.243 compared to .300). His SO/9 hasn’t declined nearly enough to be any significance (5.5 to 5.4).

The positive may be this. Leake is a different pitcher on the road.

Home: 4-4, 4.08 ERA, 1.200 WHIP
Road: 7-1, 2.26 ERA, 1.255 WHIP

And the Cards haven’t been kind to him this season either. He’s 0-2 with and ERA of 9.00 and WHIP of 1.700 in facing St. Louis this season. Could say that to some extent for Leake’s career. Look at some of these numbers from Cardinal hitters.

David Freese: 14 PA, .538 BA, HR, 4 RBI
Matt Holliday: 21 PA, .450 BA, 3 RBI

But there is a pair he holds in check, too.

Carlos Beltran: 18 PA, .111 BA, HR, RBI, 4 SO
Allen Craig: 11 PA, .182 BA, no XBH

In facing Lyons, he will making his second start against the Reds. In his first outing against the Redlegs, Lyons pitched 5.1 innings and surrendered 6 hits and 4 earned runs. Those 4 runs held up as the Reds beat Lyons and the Cards by a score of 4-2. In that June 8 game, Jay Bruce and Devin Mesoraco homered against him. Those small samples…

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