Reds' catalyst Tyler Stephenson looks to close out strong 1st-half with a visit St. Louis

Cincinnati Reds catcher Tyler Stephenson.
Cincinnati Reds catcher Tyler Stephenson. / Jim McIsaac/GettyImages
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Perhaps the Cincinnati Reds (34-55) should petition commissioner Rob Manfred to be moved to the American League East. Somehow for a division where every team is above .500, Cincinnati is a bewildering 7-4 when facing AL East foes.

When it comes to the best team in baseball, it's clearly evident they have a kryptonite. And that kryptonite is the Cincinnati Reds. Beyond any reasonable belief, the Reds took two of three from the New York Yankees in the Bronx and were a late blown save from sweeping the series.

Cincinnati is perhaps playing their best baseball of the season. They've won five of six and seven of their last 10 contests. Additionally, they're doing it against some of the best clubs MLB has to offer. Over the last two weeks, the Redlegs went 7-5 versus the Atlanta Braves, New York Mets, Tampa Bay Rays, and New York Yankees.

The Reds close out the first-half of the 2022 season with a trip to St. Louis.

As far as the St. Louis Cardinals (48-44) are concerned, it's been a pedestrian first half of the 2022 season. Even though the Redbirds sit in second place in the National League Central behind the Milwaukee Brewers, a deep October runs appears to be a near impossibility as the roster is currently constructed.

Injuries have certainly played a part in the Cardinals' middling ways. Outfielder Tyler O'Neill was activated yesterday following a second stint on the IL season. After finishing eighth in the MVP voting and collecting his first Gold Glove award last season, the 27-year-old has been limited to just 46 games this season while compiling a disappointing .235/.286/.353 slash line.

It also appears Father Time has caught up with a couple of Redbird legends. Noted Reds killer Yadier Molina, currently on the IL with knee inflammation, has been terrible when he's been in the lineup. The 40-year-old backstop is slashing an embarrassing .213/.225/.294 in 136 at-bats.

Forty-two-year-old Albert Pujols has been better than Molina, but not by much. Returning to the city where he became a legend after a decade on the West Coast, Pujols is hitting .214 with just six home runs. His pursuit to join the 700 homer club looks like it will fall short as he currently sits with 685 round-trippers.

To call Busch Stadium a house of horrors for the Cincinnati Reds would be kind. Since 2012, the Redbirds are a staggering 57-33 versus Cincinnati when playing in the shadow of the Arch. However, the Redlegs have won six of the last 10 contests in St. Louis.