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Series Preview 6/8-10: Cardinals at Reds

The Cardinals will look to continue their tear against the Reds this weekend in Cincy

MLB: Pittsburgh Pirates at St. Louis Cardinals
Wacha will take the mound on Saturday
Scott Rovak-USA TODAY Sports

After dropping two of three to the Marlins, the Cardinals are hoping to right the ship and win this weekend’s series in the Queen City against the Reds. The 22-41 Reds host the 33-27 Cardinals for a three-gamer that will open on Friday.

In Friday’s series opener, Matt Harvey and Luke Weaver will get the starting nods from their teams in the 6:10 PM Central time start. Harvey joined the Reds from the Mets in a trade early in May, a month ago. In five starts as a member of the Cincinnati rotation, Harvey has a 4.44 ERA in 24 13 innings with 19 strikeouts. Marcell Ozuna is 9-for-24 with a double, triple, and three RBIs in his career against Harvey.

Weaver lasted five innings in his most recent outing, on Saturday (6/2) against the Pirates. Over his last 28 frames (five starts), Weaver has allowed seven runs with a 25:5 strikeout-to-walk ratio. Adam Duvall has homered off Weaver and Scooter Gennett is 3-for-8, while Tucker Barnhart and Jose Peraza have each fanned three times.

Saturday’s middle game will feature Luis Castillo and Michael Wacha at 3:10 PM. Castillo has surrendered four earned runs in each of his last two outings and has a 5.76 ERA in 13 starts overall. Walks and home runs have been an issue for Castillo this year, with 26 and 13, respectively; the two numbers have contributed to his 1.45 WHIP in 67 innings.

Wacha flirted with history in his last outing, one where he held the Pirates hitless in to the ninth inning. It was Wacha’s seventh quality start out of 12 this year and lowered his FIP to 3.31 in 71 frames. Joey Votto has seen Wacha very well in their meetings together; Votto is 13-for-36 (.361) with four doubles, a homer, and six walks.

The series finale on Sunday will start at 12:10 PM, and Anthony DeSclafani will pitch against Carlos Martinez. DeSclafani, like Martinez, recently returned off the disabled list; the Reds hurler needed Tommy John surgery early last year. DeSclafani pitched in his first Major League game since 2016 on Tuesday, June 5, when he logged five innings of four-run ball against the Rockies. Matt Carpenter has one double, one triple, two home runs, and four walks in 18 plate appearances facing DeSclafani.

Martinez returned to the mound on 6/5 as well and lasted only four innings - the shortest start of his 2018 campaign. Martinez missed just shy of a month while nursing a strained right lat, In his career facing the Reds, Gennett has fanned 10 times and Eugenio Suarez six times.