Fresh off a series sweep of the Cubs, the 20-12 Cardinals will welcome the Twins to Busch Stadium for a two-game series that will begin on Monday evening. The 13-17 Twins won on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday on the South Side of Chicago to take three of four from the White Sox.
John Gant will make his first big-league start of the year for the Cardinals against Minnesota’s rookie right-hander Fernando Romero. Monday’s series opener is set to begin at 7:10 PM Central time. Gant pitched very well in five starts for the Triple-A team in the first month of the season, maintaining a 2.40 ERA with 22 strikeouts in 30 innings for the Redbirds. Gant has made one appearance for St. Louis this season: a three-inning, scoreless outing against the Mets on 4/26 that eventually ended in a win for Gant.
Romero made his Major League debut on May 2 against the Blue Jays, holding Toronto scoreless across 5 2⁄3 innings en route to a win in his first decision. Romero started 23 games for the Twins’ Double-A affiliate last year before his promotion to Triple-A at the beginning of this season. For the Rochester Red Wings in 2018, Romero held batters to a .224 batting average with just one homer in 21 innings (four appearances - three starts).
The Cardinals and Twins will turn around from Monday’s game for a matinee on Tuesday, starting at 12:15 PM Central time. Carlos Martinez will face off against Jake Odorizzi. In his last start - a 7 1⁄3 outing against the White Sox, Martinez surrendered an earned run, only the second he has allowed since April 10. Martinez’s K/9 sits at an even 9.00, with 45 punchouts in as many innings across seven starts. Batters are making soft contact off Martinez 25.7 percent of the time, batting .179 collectively.
Odorizzi is a native of Breese, Ilinois, a town about 40 miles east of St. Louis. After five seasons with the Rays, Odorizzi joined the Twins on a free-agent deal over the offseason and has made seven starts with his new club. In 37 1⁄3 frames, Odorizzi has a 4.10 ERA with a 21.9 strikeout percentage. Homers have been an issue for Odorizzi, as his 1.93 HR/9 rate is the highest he has had in the Majors. Three Cardinals have went yard against Odorizzi - Matt Carpenter, Kolten Wong, and Marcell Ozuna - and this trio will look to keep the trend flowing when they face the 28-year-old on Tuesday.