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Series Preview 6/11-13: Padres vs. Cardinals

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SD is in STL for a three-game date

MLB: Pittsburgh Pirates at St. Louis Cardinals Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

After taking two of three in Cincinnati over the weekend, the 35-28 Cardinals will open up a home stand on Monday with the Padres. The Padres enter the series 31-36, winners of six of their last eight games and only 5 12 games out in a National League West division that has been, on the whole, very subpar, considering the teams that call it home.

The Brewers and Cubs sit atop the National League Central, with Chicago trailing by half a game as the two clubs open a series tonight. The Cardinals sit three back of division-leading Milwaukee.

Barring postseason play, these will be the final games between the Padres and Cardinals in 2018.

It will be Jack Flaherty and Jordan Lyles on the bump in Monday’s series opener at 7:15 PM Central time. Flaherty has started seven games for St. Louis, logging 39 1/3 innings. Flaherty has maintained a 3.53 FIP and a 42:10 strikeout-to-walk ratio. The second start of Flaherty’s big-league career was against the Padres, and he allowed one run over five innings at Petco Park. In the spirit of small sample sizes, Wil Myers, Jose Pirela, and Matt Szczur are all 0-for-2 facing Flaherty.

Lyles has allowed 15 earned runs across his last three starts, fueled by the seven walks and four home runs against him in the span. Lyles started against the Cardinals when the two clubs met in San Diego in early May; Lyles fanned six and surrendered one run across five innings in what was eventually a 2-1 win for St. Louis. Lyles’s flyball rate sits at 38 percent, the highest of his career, and his groundball percentage is 43.7, the lowest it has been since he pitched for the Astros in 2011.

Miles Mikolas will pitch for the Cardinals on Tuesday, with his first pitch set for 7:15. Mikolas pitched against Lyles in that 2-1 game, one where Mikolas pitched 6 23 frames of one-run ball. Missing seven innings by one out, Mikolas’s streak of logging seven innings (it was at four, entering 5/10) snapped. Mikolas leads the team with a 2.27 ERA and ranks fourth in the National League, trailing Jacob deGrom’s 1.57, Max Scherzer’s 2.00, and Jon Lester’s 2.22.

The Padres have not announced who will start on Tuesday.

Wednesday’s series finale will feature Luke Weaver and Eric Lauer on the mound at 7:15. Weaver will be looking to pitch beyond the fifth inning in his start, a feat he has not reached since 5/22. Weaver tossed five scoreless innings against the Padres back on 5/11 and has a 3.65 ERA in his last seven starts, dating back to his first start in May.

The left-handed Lauer has made nine starts in his career, including one he’d rather forget against the Cardinals back in May. In the outing, Lauer allowed six earned runs on four home runs in 2 13 frames; Harrison Bader, Jedd Gyoko, Marcell Ozuna, and Paul DeJong were the smashers. The 23-year-old rookie has a 2.06 WHIP and a .333 BAA in 39 13 frames for San Diego.