Cincinnati Reds, St. Louis Cardinals Series Preview


Following their loss last night to the Pittsburgh Pirates, the Cincinnati Reds will finish up their 10-games home stand with a four-game series against the first place St. Louis Cardinals. The Cardinals lead the majors with the most wins at 88 and are on pace to win 102 games, while the Reds have the third fewest wins at 57 and are on a pace to win only nine more games this year. The Reds and Cardinals have met for four series already this season and are scheduled to play once more at Busch Stadium later in September. The Reds have won one series against the Cardinals this year, going 4-8 against the Redbirds overall.

Game 1
9/10 7:10 p.m. EST
STL: Jaime Garcia (8-4, 1.89)
CIN: John Lamb (0-3, 6.11)

The Reds have seen their share of Garcia in the past but are facing him for just the second time this year. Their first match up in July went well for the Reds, as they put a 4-0 beating on the Cardinals, with three of those runs coming off Garcia. Jason Bourgeois has been particularly difficult for Garcia in the past, earning a .429 batting average and a 1.143 OPS. Brandon Phillips has also consistently hammered Garcia, going 13-for-43 against the Cardinals’ lefty, and taking him deep twice.

To face off against Garcia, the Reds will be sending Lamb to the mound for the sixth time this year. It looked as if Lamb was finally going to get his first big league win in his last outing against the Brewers, but missed pitches and sloppy defense allowed a Brewers comeback and took away Lamb’s hopes of a win. Lamb will be facing St. Louis for the first time and nothing would be sweeter than earning his first win against the division rival Cardinals.

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Game 2
9/11 7:10 p.m. EST
STL: John Lackey (11-9, 2.90)
CIN: Michael Lorenzen (4-8, 5.54)

Lackey will be getting the start for the Cardinals in game two and Reds fans will no doubt breathe a sigh of relief that despite his outstanding numbers, Lackey has yet to beat the Reds this year. Lackey will be making his fourth start against the Reds. He has a 0-2 record and one no-decision against Cincinnati, with the Reds winning each game. In his three starts against the Reds this year, Cincinnati has scored nine runs, and all but one has been off Lackey. Eugenio Suarez has been swinging a hot bat lately for the Reds and has also hit well of Lackey in the past, going 3-for-9 with three RBIs. Joey Votto has also been successful at the plate against Lackey, sporting a .375 average with two home runs.

Lorenzen will be taking the hill for the Reds, and is making his third start since being recalled late in August. The Reds have won both games that Lorenzen has started, and he earned the win in the last game against the Brewers. Lorenzen has only one career start against the Cardinals, which came last month in a 3-0 loss for the Reds. In that game, Lorenzen pitched five innings and gave up three runs off four hits. Though he received the loss in his lone start against the Cardinals, Lorenzen held St. Louis batters to hit only .250/.429/.313, and only allowed one extra-base hit.

Game 3
9/12 1:05 p.m. EST
STL: Lance Lynn (11-9, 3.12)
CIN: Anthony DeSclafani (8-10, 3.75)

The Reds will be facing Lynn for the second time this season and have not found the same success against Lynn that they have against Garcia and Lackey. In his one start against the Reds this year, Lynn went seven innings and allowed one run in a 4-1 Cardinals win. But Lynn has been dominated in the past by one Red in particular; Jay Bruce. Bruce has 14 hits in 28 at-bats off of Lynn, with one double, two triples, three home runs, 11 RBIs and an incredible 1.529. Votto also has a .500 batting average against Lynn (with 10 fewer at-bats that Bruce), and the 2015 Home Run Derby Champion, Todd Frazier, has also had success at the plate, hitting three bombs off Lynn.

DeSclafani will be starting for the third time this year against the Cardinals and will look to remain undefeated against St. Louis. In his two starts against the Cardinals, DeSclafani has pitched a total of 13 innings, and only allowed two runs while striking out 12. DeSclafani has held St. Louis batters to a .255 average and hasn’t allowed a hit or a walk to six different Cardinal players. Yadier Molina and Kolten Wong have struggled the most against DeSclafani, as both have gone 0-for-6 with no walks.

Game 4
9/13 1:10 p.m. EST
STL: Michael Wacha (15-5, 2.96)
CIN: Raisel Iglesias (3-7, 4.18)

The Reds and Cardinals will wrap up the series with a great pitching match-up that will see the Cardinals send their ace, Wacha, to the mound against the Reds’ rising star, Iglesias.

Winning game four will be no easy task for the Reds, who have gone 0-3 against Wacha this season, and have only managed to score two runs in three games. In his career against the Reds, Wacha has held the them to hit an abysmal .224/.274/.374 off him. The only Red that has had any frequent success against Wacha is Votto, who has gone 7-for-16 with three doubles and one dinger. And while Bruce has dominated Lackey at the plate, he has been completely anemic against Wacha, with no hits in 21 at-bats.

The Reds will have to rely heavily on rookie starter Iglesias if they have any hopes of winning game four. Iglesias, though roughed up in his last outing, has been outstanding for the Reds lately, with seven quality starts in a row before receiving the loss in his last start against the Pirates. Iglesias has struggled in his two starts against St. Louis, but has struck out nine in 35 at-bats, and will look to earn his first win over Cardinals this Sunday.

Next: Daytona Tortugas advance to championship series