Although it might feel like it after the weekend the Cardinals had, the season it not yet over. The Cardinals have 13 games remaining with a six-game deficit in the division, a 4.5 game deficit in the Wild Card and the Brewers also ahead of them in both. Their playoff odds currently stand at 4.0%, which is roughly the same odds of the Cardinals sweeping both of the next two series. The Cardinals should destroy the Reds.
The Cardinals just played the Reds last week, winning two out of three games. Our preview covered most of the comings and goings of the Reds at that time. At the time of the last preview, I had expected Phillip Ervin to get most of the starts in center field. Playing time has not worked out that way, with Scott Schebler shifting from the corner to get most of the center field starts and rookie Jesse Winker getting more time in right field. Winker is a better prospect than Ervin so it does make sense to get him more time.
As for the rest of the team, things are more or less the same on the position-player side. The Cardinals faced three starters last week, and none of those three starters will take up that role in this three-game series. Jackson Stephens is set to be the Reds starter tonight. Stephens is a righty who had good numbers at Double-A last season based primarily on a very low HR/FB%. He couldn’t duplicate those numbers in Triple-A and has now made four appearances including one start at the major league level.
Stephens throws a mid-90s fourseamer along with a sinker, curve, and slider. In his one start in early July, Stephens struck out eight against one walk against the Cubs, giving up three runs and two homers. He pitched three scoreless innings against the Cardinals last week in the Cardinals 5-2 win, striking out one in relief of Amir Garrett. Jack Flaherty will pitch for the Cardinals. Flaherty did well enough for four innings against the Reds last time out, giving up a solo homer to start the game, but the fifth inning did not go well, inspiring this post.
On Wednesday, rookie Rookie Davis will go for the Reds in Cincinnati. He opened the season in the rotation making five MLB starts with poor results. He walked nearly as many as he has struck out and given up three homers in 19 innings. He went back to the minors for most of the season and didn’t pitch all that well there. He last appeared in an MLB game last week against the Cardinals, giving up two runs in two innings, including a homer to Paul DeJong. Luke Weaver will pitch for the Cardinals.
On Thursday, Homer Bailey starts. Bailey has been with the Reds since they were good a while back, but he has since struggled along with the franchise. After missing almost all of 2015 and 2016, Bailey has made 16 starts this year and not pitched well with a 5.09 FIP and 6.86 ERA. His velocity is still decent, but he walks a lot of guys. On AUgust 6, he gave up 10 runs against the Cardinals. Since then, he’s been decent, with a 4.34 FIP and 4.58 ERA. Carlos Martinez takes the mound for St. Louis.
Tonight, September 19, 6:10 pm CT, Fox Sports Midwest
Wednesday, September 20, 6:10 pm CT, Fox Sports Midwest
Thursday, September 21, 6:10 pm CT, Fox Sports Midwest