Reds vs. Cardinals Series Preview: Cincinnati Looks To Chip Away At NL Central Standings

Reds vs. Cardinals Series Preview: Cincinnati Looks To Chip Away At NL Central Standings

Ayden Fahlstrom
1 year ago
4 min read

At 24-29 and fourth in the NL Central, the Cincinnati Reds have some work to do if they want to get back into contention. Starting Thursday, they will try to chip away at the division as they take on the second-place St. Louis Cardinals (31-25).

This will be a four-game series between the two teams hosted by St. Louis at Busch Stadium starting on Thursday.

The Reds come into this series, having split a brief two-game series with the Phillies. After winning 11-1 on Monday, the Reds were decimated by Philadelphia in a 17-3 route on Tuesday. Their game on Wednesday was postponed due to the weather.

St. Louis is coming off of a division loss to the Dodgers and have now lost three of their last four games. On Wednesday, it was a 14-3 loss at the hands of Los Angeles. In the loss, Carlos Martinez didn’t even make it through one innings and allowed ten runs on six hits and four walks.

Schedule

The Schedule for the four-game series at Busch Stadium is as follows:

  • Thursday, June 3 – 8:15 pm ET
  • Friday, June 4 – 8:15 pm ET
  • Saturday, June 5 – 2:15 pm ET
  • Sunday, June 6 - 2:15 pm ET

Pitching Matchup

Here is the pitching matchup for each game of the series:

  • Thursday: Vladimir Gutierrez (0-1, 1.80 ERA) vs. Adam Wainwright (3-4, 4.22 ERA)
  • Friday: Luis Castillo (1-8, 7.22 ERA) vs. Kwang Hyun Kim (1-3, 3.65 ERA)
  • Saturday: Tyler Mahle (4-2, 3.42 ERA) vs. TBD
  • Sunday: Wade Miley (5-4, 3.26 ERA) vs. John Gant (4-3, 1.60 ERA)

Looking At The Odds

The Cincinnati Reds currently have the fourth-best odds to win the NL Central at +1400. They are +7000 to win it all.

The Cardinals currently have the second-best odds to win the division at +155. They are +2200 to win the World Series.

By The Number

On the offensive side, the Reds have been the more prolific scoring team to this point. They currently rank seventh, averaging 4.89 runs per game (6.33 over their last three games). The Cardinals rank 16th, averaging 4.29 runs per game.

Defensively, it is St. Louis with a big advantage. They currently rank 15th in scoring defense allowing opponents 4.27 runs per game. The Reds have been the worst team in baseball in run prevention, allowing opponents 5.45 runs.

Reds Need Defense To Improve To Contend

While the Reds have shown they can score runs in bunches, that is about the only positive they have going right now. At 12-14 at home and 12-15 on the road, their pitching and defensive woes continue to haunt them and will have to turn around if they hope to contend.

Again, there are positives on the offensive side. Right now, they have two of the best hitters in the majors in outfielders Jesse Winker and Nick Castellanos.

Winker is currently hitting .341/.403/.621 with 13 home runs, 29 runs batted in, and 37 runs scored. Not to be outdone, Castellanos is hitting .361/.416/.644 with 12 home runs, 31 runs batted in, and 36 runs scored.

All the offense in the world still won’t help, though, if they can’t figure out a way to keep opponents off the scoreboard.

St. Louis Looks To Get Back On Track

After going 5-5 in their last ten games, St. Louis has slipped into second place, one game back of the red-hot Chicago Cubs. They hope that catching a struggling Reds’ team may help them get back on track.

Leading the way for the Cardinals is third baseman Nolan Arenado. He is currently hitting .276/.323/.523 with 11 home runs, 36 runs batted in, and 29 runs scored. 

Getting it done on both offense and defense, Arenado has been one of the best offseason acquisitions in the majors and a trade that St. Louis is obviously very happy to have made.

One player that the Reds need to be leary of is outfielder Tyler O’Neill. He has been the hottest Cardinals hitter over the last week, hitting .393/.393/.929 with four home runs and eight runs batted in over that span.

Are Reds Catching St. Louis At The Right Time?

Granted, they are coming off of a series with the defending champion Los Angeles Dodgers, but it still hasn’t been too often that the Cardinals find themselves in a stretch where they have lost three of their last four.

Wednesday’s postponement might have been a blessing in disguise for Cincinnati as it allows them to refocus after the drumming they took on Tuesday. If they can come into St. Louis and take at least three of four from the Cardinals, it may be just the boost they need to chip away at the seven-game deficit they have in the division. 

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