After the Mexico Series last weekend and a set in Milwaukee this week, the Cardinals are back home in St. Louis to kick off a nine-game homestand at Busch Stadium. That will get underway on Friday night, as the Mets are in town for a three-game series.
Entering play on Friday, the Cardinals and Mets both have 10-8 records. Both clubs are one game behind the division leaders (the Brewers in the Central and the Phillies in the East), yet the Cardinals’ run differential is +12 and the Mets’ is -10.
In the series opener on Friday, Adam Wainwright will make the start for the Cardinals at 7:15 PM Central time. Wainwright’s last two outings have been quality starts, totaling 12 innings pitched with three earned runs and 13 punchouts. This will be Wainwright’s first appearance against the Mets since back-to-back starts in July of 2017. Keon Broxton, formally of the Brewers, joined the Mets over the offseason. Broxton is 7-for-9 with two doubles, two home runs, and a triple in his career against Wainwright.
The Mets will counter with Jason Vargas. Vargas is in his second season with New York after spending time with Marlins, Mariners, Angels, and Royals in the past. (He also made two forgettable starts for the Mets back in 2007, if you were wondering.) Vargas got only one out in his last start back on 4/13, when he allowed four earned runs on two hits and three walks against the Braves.
Saturday’s contest will feature Miles Mikolas and Jacob deGrom at 1:15 PM. Mikolas worked five innings against the Reds in his last start and will be making his fifth start of the year. This will be Mikolas’s second ever start against the Mets and first in nearly seven years. Left-handed batters have hit .333 off Mikolas this season, so this may be a good matchup for Mets standouts Michael Conforto and Robinson Cano.
deGrom was the 2018 National League Cy Young Award winner. deGrom leads the league with 36 strikeouts and will make his team-leading fifth start of the season. deGrom has been tough for the Cardinals (and many teams, clearly) in the past. Matt Carpenter is just 3-for-17 (.176), and Marcell Ozuna has 10 strikeouts in 33 plate appearances facing deGrom.
The series finale on Sunday will be started by Dakota Hudson. Hudson was charged with six earned runs in his 3 2⁄3 innings of work against the Brewers on 4/15. This will be Hudson’s second start at home in his career and first time facing the Mets.
New York will send Noah Syndergaard to the mound. Syndergaard has allowed nine earned runs across his last two starts, against the Twins and Phillies. After pitching to a 0.52 HR/9 rate in 25 starts last season, Syndergaard has allowed three homers in 24 frames thus far. Ozuna, Yadier Molina, and Jose Martinez have homered off Syndergaard in the past.
So, to recap:
Friday, 4/19, 7:15 | Wainwright v Vargas | MLB Network, FSMW, KMOX, CRN, WJIR
Saturday, 4/20, 1:15 | Mikolas v deGrom | FSMW, KMOX, CRN, WJIR
Sunday, 4/21, 1:15 | Hudson v Syndergaard | FSMW, KMOX, CRN, WJIR
Notes from around the league:
- Fines and suspensions were handed out to members of the Royals and White Sox for their involvement in Wednesday’s benches-clearing incident in Chicago. Royals hurler Brad Keller got a five-game suspension and White Sox infielder Tim Anderson got one game. Keller and Anderson were also fined. White Sox skipper Rick Renteria was suspended for one game, too, and will serve his on Friday in the game against the Tigers.
- Shohei Ohtani will hit on the field on Friday as he continues to make progress toward a return to the Angels. Ohtani had Tommy John surgery back in October, so he won't be pitching this season; however, he’s on pace to return as a designated hitter late next month.
- After they each homered in Thursday’s game, Dodgers outfielder Cody Bellinger and Brewers outfielder Christian Yelich are tied for the National League lead in home runs. They each have 10 entering play Friday. Athletics outfielder Khris Davis also has 10 long balls.