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Series Preview 6/13-16: Cardinals at Mets

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St Louis Cardinals v Miami Marlins Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images

The Cardinals took two of three in their series against the Marlins this week. Now, on the final stop of their 10-game trip, the Cardinals are in New York for four games with the Mets at Citi Field. St. Louis took two of three from the Mets when they visited Busch Stadium back in April.

Entering play on Thursday, the Cardinals are 33-33 and five games back of the Central-leading Brewers. The Mets are 33-34, trailing the Braves by 5 12 games in the East.

In Thursday’s series opener, Jacob deGrom and Jack Flaherty will take the mound at 6:10 PM Central time. deGrom whiffed 10 Rockies his last time out and enters this series with a team-best .233 opponents’ batting average and 1.15 WHIP. Marcell Ozuna is 8-for-33 in his career facing deGrom.

Flaherty lasted just 3 23 innings in his last start, one where the Cubs scored four runs and worked 96 pitches out of the right-hander. And in his last outing, for the first time in his Major League career, Flaherty did not record a single strikeout in a start. In six road starts this season, Flaherty has a 6.67 ERA in 28 13 innings with six homers and 16 walks allowed.

Steven Matz and Daniel Ponce de Leon will be the matchup on Friday. After missing about two weeks (May 5-18) with nerve discomfort, three of Matz’s last five starts have been quality. Matz struck out 10 in his last start, his most since he whiffed 11 Giants last September. Matz has allowed just six earned runs in 30 innings at Citi Field this season.

Ponce de Leon will make the start in place of Adam Wainwright, who was placed on the injured list on Monday with a hamstring strain he suffered in his start on Sunday. As for Ponce de Leon, this will be his second MLB start of the year; he has made 11 for Triple-A Memphis. Back on April 23, Ponce de Leon allowed just one run in five innings against Milwaukee. This will be his first appearance against the Mets.

On Saturday, Noah Syndergaard and Michael Wacha will be the starting pitchers. Syndergaard blanked the Rockies for seven innings back on June 9, holding Colorado to just one hit and two walks in the outing. In three starts since May 29, Syndergaard has allowed just six runs in his last 19 23 frames. Paul Goldschmidt is 5-for-14 with three runs batted in facing Syndergaard.

Wacha returned to the starting rotation on June 10 with six scoreless innings against the Marlins. A solid start against the Mets on Saturday will help Wacha solidify his case to remain in the team’s loop of starters. Wacha has a 2.53 ERA and 1.08 WHIP in seven starts against the Mets.

The finale of this series will feature Zack Wheeler and Dakota Hudson. Wheeler was knocked around for five runs in 4 23 innings against the Yankees his last time out, snapping a streak of four starts in a row of at least seven innings. Entering this series, Wheeler leads the Mets with 99 strikeouts.

So, to recap:

Thursday, 6/13, 6:10 | deGrom v Flaherty | FSMW, KMOX, CRN

Friday, 6/14, 6:10 | Matz v Ponce de Leon | MLB Network, FSMW, KMOX, CRN

Saturday, 6/15, 6:10 | Syndergaard v Wacha | FSMW, KMOX, CRN

Sunday, 6/16, 12:10 | Wheeler v Hudson | FSMW, KMOX, CRN

Notes from around the league:

  • The Tigers and Royals will play the first MLB game in Nebraska on Thursday. The American League Central opponents will meet at TD Ameritrade Park Omaha, where the College World Series is about to played for the ninth year.
  • Astros starter Justin Verlander struck out a career-high 15 batters last night in his seven-inning outing against the Brewers. All of them were swinging. Verlander threw 75 of his 100 pitches for strikes and garnered 29 swings and misses.
  • Yankees slugger Giancarlo Stanton homered twice in his latest rehab game. Stanton may return as early as the beginning of next week.