The Cardinals have won just 26 of 54 games this season, which puts them on pace to win 78 games if they do the same thing over the final two-thirds of the season. That would be quite the disappointment. After roughly a month straight of facing off against contenders where the Cardinals fared poorly, the team gets to try their hand against teams that are not so good. First up, a four game road series against the Reds.
Things are going perhaps better than expected for Cincinnati this season on the position player side. They are 25-30, a game and a half behind the Cardinals in the standings. Joey Votto is still very good. Zack Cozart’s offense has been a very pleasant surprise, doubling his walk rate without affecting his strikeouts, he’s hitting tons of doubles, some triples and a decent number of homers. He probably won’t put up a 173 wRC+ all season, but merely average offense with his solid defense is going to make him a five-win player this year, though he will likely finish the season on another team before hitting free agency.
Billy Hamilton is still doing what he does, run and field without hitting at all. Eugenio Suarez has been a slightly less surprising version of Cozart at third base. Adam Duvall is doing pretty well again with Scott Schebler right there with him. Jose Peraza isn’t hitting at all from second base, but Devin Mesoraco has done well when he has played. Reds position players are projected to do just as well as the Cardinals from here on out. The pitching is another story.
Tonight’s scheduled starter for Cincinnati is Asher Wojciechowksi. The 28-year-old righty signed a minor league comtract with the Diamondbacks in the offseason, but he didn’t make the team, and subsequently signed with the Reds. He got in a handful of games with the Houston Astros in 2015, but didn’t pitch in the majors last year. He pitched well in five Triple-A starts this year, but has struggled in three big league games, two out of the pen. He throws a low-90s fourseamer along with a slider and a change. Carlos Martinez gets the call for St. Louis.
On Tuesday, Tim Adleman will start for the Reds. Adleman is a 29-year-old righty who made his debut for Cincinnati last season, posting a decent 4.00 ERA but a not very good 5.30 FIP. He’s splitting the difference this year with an ERA and FIP both in the high-4s. He’s been pretty homer-prone, including shots to Dexter Fowler and Jedd Gyorko back in April. Adam Wainwright will start for the Cardinals.
On Wednesday, Bronson Arroyo starts for the Reds. Arroyo might be the worst pitcher in baseball. In two games against the Cardinals this season, he’s given up 10 runs in eight innings, striking out five, walking seven and giving up two homers. The change and slider of Carlos Martinez are both faster than Arroyo’s fastball on average. So are Lance Lynn’s cutter and change, for that matter, and Lynn is Wednesday’s starter.
Cinci ace Scott Feldman is the scheduled starter on Thursday. The 34-year-old righty is tall, but doesn’t do anything really well and has hovered close to average for the past few years without really getting there. He mostly throws a sinker, a cutter and a curve, but hasn’t done a great job keeping the ball on the gound. Mike Leake should start for the Cardinals.
If anybody can get the Cardinals offense going, it should be the Reds’ pitching staff.
Tonight, June 5, 6:10 pm CT, Fox Sports Midwest, MLB Network
Tuesday, June 6, 6:10 pm CT, Fox Sports Midwest
Wednesday, June 7, 6:10 pm CT, Fox Sports Midwest
Thursday, June 8, 11:35 am CT, Fox Sports Midwest, MLB Network