Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Reds vs. Cardinals: RHP Mike Leake vs. RHP Justin Masterson

Cincinnati Reds (61-63) vs. St. Louis Cardinals (66-57)


RHP Mike Leake (9-11, 3.59 ERA, 1.26 WHIP, .265 OAV) vs. RHP Justin Masterson (6-7, 5.58 ERA, 1.64 WHIP, .281 OAV)


Monday, August 18, 2014: 8:15 p.m. at Busch Stadium



Having allowed 170 hits in his 165.2 innings pitched so far this year, Mike Leake holds the dubious honor of leading the league in hits allowed. The double-edged sword means that while Leake has given up so many hits, he has also been good enough to continue pitching to give up those hits.


That same trend has held true in his career against St. Louis. Allowing 71 hits in 59.1 innings pitched, Leake is 3-5 overall with a 4.85 ERA against the Redbirds.


In his only appearance against the Cardinals in 2014, Leake went for eight scoreless innings of baseball. The start came all the way back on April 9, but it was good for his first win of the season and ranks among one of his top games pitched this year.


While Leake’s numbers may back the conception that he has not been successful against St. Louis, he has been just fine inside the confines of Busch Stadium.


Here is the lineup he will be facing via the team’s Twitter account:


3B – Matt Carpenter (3-for-16, 1 RBI, 2 K’s)

2B – Kolten Wong (3-for-7, 1 RBI)

LF – Matt Holliday (11-for-28, 3 2B’s, 1 HR, 6 RBI)

1B – Matt Adams (4-for-12, 1 2B, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 2 K’s)

SS – Jhonny Peralta (0-for-5, 1 BB, 3 K’s)

C – A.J. Pierzynski (1-for-5, 1 BB, 1 K)

RF – Oscar Taveras (yet to face Leake)

CF – Jon Jay (6-for-24, 1 2B, 1 RBI, 5 K’s)

P – Justin Masterson (yet to face Leake)



Last season, Justin Masterson was a member of the American League All-Star team. This season, Masterson has been a nightmare.


With the bad luck the Cincinnati Reds have accrued this year, Masterson’s statistics in 2014 may not matter much. Having made a quality start against the Reds for three consecutive seasons, the only reason his ERA is 2.86 against Cincinnati for his career stems from a six-run outing back in 2010.


His first two starts with St. Louis saw him yield five runs in each effort. He finally righted his ship his last time out, carving up the Miami Marlins for seven scoreless innings.


Based on his history of success against Cincinnati, the Reds must hope Masterson is feeling some pressure in what will be just his second start in front of the Cardinals faithful.


Here is the lineup he will be facing via the team’s Twitter account:


CF – Billy Hamilton (yet to face Masterson)

RF – Jay Bruce (2-for-14, 1 HR, 1 RBI)

3B – Todd Frazier (1-for-4, 1 2B, 2 K’s)

C – Devin Mesoraco (yet to face Masterson)

LF – Ryan Ludwick (yet to face Masterson)

2B – Brandon Phillips (4-for-14, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 2 K’s)

1B – Brayan Pena (3-for-8, 1 RBI)

SS – Zack Cozart (1-for-7, 3 K’s)

P – Mike Leake (yet to face Masterson)



Now getting a chance to play the competition directly ahead of them, the Reds have a chance to begin to dwindle the deficit down. Getting a series win in St. Louis is a whole lot easier said than done, but if Mike Leake can give the Reds a quality effort and sneak out with a victory, the path to a series win becomes all the less traveled.

Tags: Cincinnati Reds Justin Masterson Mike Leake St Louis Cardinals

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