Cincinnati Reds (30-22) at St. Louis Cardinals (30-22)
8 :15 PM ET on ESPN
CIN: S. LeCure (1-0, 3.00)
STL: C. Carpenter (6-1, 2.93)
The Reds will look to regain a two game lead in the division, as they take on the St. Louis Cardinals in the final game of a three-game series on Wednesday at Busch Stadium.
The Cardinals pulled even with the Reds atop the NL Central with a 12-4 win in series opener on Monday. Cincinnati didn’t have much success containing St. Louis’ lineup, Cards first baseman Albert Pujols, was one of six Cardinals with multiple hits as they set a season high 16 in a single game. Game two on Tuesday was more of the same as the teams combined for 29 hits. Scott Rolen homered twice and doubled with four RBIs against his old club as Cincinnati regained sole possession of the NL Central coming out on top of an offensive barrage, 9-8.
The Reds will start rookie Sam LeCure. The 24-year old righty, who will be taking Homer Bailey’s spot in the rotation while he recovers from an inflamed pitching shoulder, made an impressive six innings major-league debut on Friday, picking up his first ever win as the Cardinals walloped the Astros 15-4. LeCure, a fourth round pick in 2005, was given a big lead and only allowed two runs on six hits surrendering a solo home run to Hunter Pence in the first inning, but only allowed one run after that. He walked five while striking out four and was smacked with a plate of shaving cream by teammates after the win. LeCure spent the entire 2009 season pitching for AAA Louisville Bats, going 10-8 with a 4.46 ERA in 25 starts.
The Cardinals made a pair of roster moves on Saturday, going with 13 pitchers for the time being as they adjust to the reality of having just two veteran starting pitchers. One of those being ace-starter Chris Carpenter who will get the call in game three. Carpenter has been a little erratic over the past couple of weeks. After allowing four runs in his only loss of the season to the Astros he followed with a one earned run victory over the Nats. His next start was another four earned run outing against the Dodgers, that was followed by 7-1 win over the Cubs on Friday. The right-hander went 6 2/3 innings allowing one earned run and struck out five batters while walking one in his sixth victory of the season. The only run he allowed came on Tyler Colvin’s pinch-hit homer in the fifth. Carpenter is 9-5 lifetime against the Reds with an ERA of 2.03.
Odds makers have St. Louis as –1-½ – favorites with a run total of 8.
The Cardinals are 4-4 in their last eight games, totaling 44 runs and are 9-1-1 in its last 10 home series against Cincinnati. The Reds meanwhile, are 5-2 in their last seven and led the majors in hits (301), average (.299) and slugging percentage (.507) in May, and led the NL in homers (45), RBIs (160) and on-base percentage (.366) while going 18-11.
If the Cardinals can continue to their offensive production behind a solid performance from Carpenter, they should have no problem winning game three and the OVER.
Get $250 Free When You Sign Up To Bet on MLB at Sportsbook.com!!