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Cardinals should destroy the Reds

A series preview

MLB: St. Louis Cardinals at Cincinnati Reds David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports

It is times like these that make you question the level of destruction the Cardinals are capable of, and who exactly will be destroyed. The Cardinals just finished a pitiful week, losing two of three games to both the Reds and the Braves, arguable the two worst teams in Major League Baseball. The Cardinals should destroy the Reds.

Anyhow, this is what I wrote about the Reds last week after noting that Joey Votto is awesome at baseball.

Adam Duvall has managed to put up an above average 114 wRC+ despite a sub-.300 on-base percentage. This is incredibly hard to do as the only qualified player in the last decade to post a wRC+ over 110 with an OBP below .300 is Pedro Alvarez in 2013, who had a 112 wRC+. He’s basically doing what Randal Grichuk did last year, except with a lower BABIP.

Brandon Phillips is not very good and is still owed $14 million next year. Tucker Barnhart has filled in for Devin Mesoraco, but does not provide anything on the offensive end. The speedy Billy Hamilton has been a bad hitter overall this season, but has shown a bit of an uptick of late. Given the value he provides on the bases and on defense, he can still be a bad hitter and be a decent player.

Eugenio Suarez will always have that first week of this season, but that doesn’t really do him a lot of good now. Tyler Holt and Scott Schebler are in line to get plate appearances that had been going to Jay Bruce, but that is not going to be good for the Reds as they project at or below replacement.

None of that prevented the Cardinals from losing two of three, and it has been Scott Schebler getting playing time since the trade of Jay Bruce.

For the Reds, Cody Reed will be starting the first game of this series in St. Louis. This is what I said before the last series about Reed:

Reed has an ugly 7.07 ERA and 6.05 FIP, mainly due to giving up 10 home runs in 35.2 innings this year. He has decent strikeout numbers (22%) so there is some promise there for the 23-year-old. The lefty throws a low-90s fourseamer and a slider primarily, but also mixes in a change.

Reed gave up four runs in the first innings in his last start against St. Louis, but the Cardinals could only get one more run over the next four innings, and then held on to win. The opposing starter in that game was Michael Wacha, and it will be tonight as well.

Tomorrow night, Brandon Finnegan will take the mound for Cincinnati. This is what I wrote about Finnegan before the last series:

Finnegan doesn’t strike a lot of guys out (17%), walks a lot of guys (12%), and gives up too many homers (22 in 117.1 innings). He pitched decently his last time out, striking out five to go along with three walks in six scoreless innings against the Padres. Finnegan is another lefty, and he throws a low-90s sinker along with a slider and a change.

When last seen, Finnegan was shutting down the Cardinals. In six innings, he gave up just two hits and no walks against four strikeouts without allowing a run. Mike Leake, the opponent tomorrow as well, kept the Cardinals in the game for five innings, giving up three runs, but then disintegrated in the sixth and let the game get out of reach.

On Wednesday, Anthony DeSclafani will pitch for the Reds. DeSclafani did not pitch against the Cardinals last series, but he has been their best pitcher this season. In 11 starts he has a 2.94 ERA and a 3.65 FIP in part due to a low 6% walk rate. The 26-year-old righty features two fastballs, but actually uses his slider more than any pitch. Jaime Garcia will pitch for the Cardinals.

Tonight’s game will start at 7:15 pm CT and will air on FOX Sports Midwest.

Tuesday’s game will start at 7:15 pm CT and will air on FOX Sports Midwest.

Wednesday’s game is at 6:15 pm CT and will air on FOX Sports Midwest.