Cincinnati Reds, St. Louis Cardinals Series Preview


The Cincinnati Reds have started off August going 1-1 and splitting their last series with the Pittsburgh Pirates, (the last game resulted in a bench clearing brawl that you can read about here), and are 5-5 in their last 10 games. With a record of 47-56, they are 9.5 games behind a second wild card spot, and are a whopping 19 games behind the first place St. Louis Cardinals.

The upcoming three game series in Cincinnati is a great chance for the Reds to gain some much needed games on the Cardinals, with expectations being high after the Reds won their last series from the Cardinals in St. Louis for the first time since September 2011. The Reds also outscored the Cardinals six runs to four in that series and had shutouts in both wins.

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Game 1:
8/4/15 7:10 p.m. EST
STL: John Lackey (9-6, 2.78)
CIN: Anthony DeSclafani (6-7, 3.75)

DeSclafani facing Lackey in game one will be a rematch of the July 29 game, a 1-0 victory for the Reds, that saw Jay Bruce take Lackey deep for the only run of that game. Lackey got the loss in that game, going eight innings and allowing two hits and one run. DeSclafani got the win, going seven innings, giving up three hits and no runs. The Reds have traditionally not hit well off Lackey, with a team batting average of .237 and a team OPS of .665. One Red that has had career success against Lackey is Marlon Byrd who has 10 hits in 32 career at-bats against Lackey, with 2 home runs and 8 RBIs.

Game 2:
8/5/15 7:10 p.m. EST
STL: Carlos Martinez (11-4, 2.61)
CIN: David Holmberg (1-0, 3.00)

On Wednesday, Holmberg will make his second start of the season for the Reds, after a quality start in his season debut on July 30. In his season debut, Holmberg went six innings giving up two earned runs and four strikeouts. Martinez has had success against the Reds with two wins against them this year, on April 12 and 18. Reds batters have a combined .207 average against Martinez, with Brayan Pena being the only Red to find continual success against him, going 3-for-8. Meanwhile, Bruce, Byrd, Brandon Phillips and Joey Votto have only collected a combined three hits (going 3-for-30) versus Martinez.

Game 3:
8/6/15 12:35 p.m. EST
STL: Michael Wacha (12-4, 3.09)
CIN: Michael Lorenzen (3-6, 4.80)

Like Martinez, Wacha also has two season wins over the Reds and has been able to silence their bats. Bruce and Byrd have consistently struggled against Wacha, with Bruce going 0-for-18 with one walk and nine strikeouts, and Byrd going 0-for-10 with one walk. The Reds will certainly miss the bat of Zack Cozart in this game, who is a career .471 hitter against Wacha (8-for-17) and will need to rely heavily on Votto, who has six hits in 15 at-bats against Wacha with one home run. Lorenzen will make his first career start against the Cardinals.

Next: Benches clear in Reds 3-0 loss to Pirates