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Cardinals next three games are against the Marlins

A series preview

St. Louis Cardinals v Atlanta Braves Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images

So the Cardinals are good now, it would seem. After that 3-9 start, the Cardinals are 13-5 and sit just half a game behind the Cincinnati Reds (What‽). While getting swept by the Yankees last month seemed really bad, the Cubs just did the same thing and they are supposed to be—probably are—smuch better than the Cardinals. In any event, the Cardinals head a little further southeast after sweeping Atlanta to take on the Miami Marlins.

The Marlins have an excellent outfield. Giancarlo Stanton is socking dingers, per usual. Christian Yelich is a solid all-around player who has taken over center field with aplomb though his bat isn’t up to its usual standard (career 120 wRC+) so far this season with an 89 wRC+. Marcell Ozuna, who was displaced in center, is having a very good year in left field with a 152 wRC+.

Up the middle, Adeiny Hechavarria and Dee Gordon represent a solid double-play combo. Gordon is a base stealing threat, but neither player has gotten much going on offense this year. J.T. Realmuto had a really nice year behind the plate last season and he has followed that up with a good start, making a lot of contact without too much power.

As far as injuries go, Martin Prado is on the disabled list so Derek Dietrich will likely play third. I think he once had a walkoff against the Cardinals and then revealed that he has a lot of muscles after doing so. Could be remembering wrong, though. Justin Bour, the Marlins first baseman, hasn’t put up a great line this season, but he has hit into a lot of bad luck and is better than he’s shown.

Adam Conley starts tonight for the Marlins. Conley is off to a pretty rough start with an ERA above six and a FIP above five. The lefty has walked a bunch of batters so far and saw his strikeout rate drop below 20% this season. He’s your typical, fastball, change, slider pitcher from the left side. He’s better than he’s shown so far this season, but he’s probably just an average to slightly below-average pitcher. Carlos Martinez pitches for the Cardinals.

Tomorrow, Dan Straily will go for Miami. Straily has 32 strikeouts in 31 innings, which is pretty impressive, but he also has 17 walks and five homers given up. Straily is still just 28 years old and had a decent season last year with a sub-4 ERA. That ERA was masked by a high-4 FIP and that’s what he’s been so far this season with an ERA to match. His stat line is helped by a 14 K, 0 BB performance against the Padres. Against everybody else, he’s struck out 18 and walked 17 in 24 innings. Adam Wainwright will go for St. Louis.

On Wednesday, Tom Koehler pitches in the finale. Koehler’s pitching line looks terrible so far this year due to 9 home runs given up. Neither his strikeout or walk rate are great either. The big righty throws two fastballs in the low-to-mid-90s along with a slider and a big knuckle-curve. He’ll rarely throw a change. The Marlins are a better team than the Braves, but this pitching matches up better than that series did as the Cardinals miss Edinson Volquez and Wei-Yin Chen. Lance Lynn will pitch the last game for the Cardinals.

Tonight, May 8, 6:10 pm CT, Fox Sports Midwest

Tuesday, May 9, 6:10 pm CT, Fox Sports Midwest

Wednesday, May 10, 6:10 pm CT, Fox Sports Midwest and ESPN