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Series Preview 6/17-20: Marlins vs. Cardinals

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MLB: St. Louis Cardinals at New York Mets
How might we see Carlos Martinez used this week?
Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

After opening their three-city trip with three losses in Chicago, the Cardinals took two in Miami and won three of four against Mets to return home with a 5-5 record in their last 10 games. Entering play Monday, St. Louis is 36-34, three games back of the first-place Brewers in the National League Central. The Cubs are in second by a game. This week, the Cardinals will begin a stretch of nine games at home. First up: the Marlins for four.

On Monday, the Cardinals purchased the contract of Rangel Ravelo from Triple-A Memphis. Ravelo has been in the Minors since 2010 and joined the Cardinals in 2017. Ravelo is batting .489 (22-for-45) in June and has a .333/.413/.543 with nine homers in 63 games for the Redbirds this season. To add him to the 40-man roster, Mike Mayers was transferred to the 60-day injured list; Yairo Munoz was placed on the paternity list, and Ravelo took his spot on the 25-man.

In the series opener on Monday, Miles Mikolas and Elieser Hernandez will be the starting pitchers. Mikolas has allowed eight earned runs in his last two starts, including five in his start against these Marlins back on June 12. Miami infielder Garrett Cooper did the bulk of the damage with a grand slam. Mikolas has a 2.87 ERA with a 35:7 strikeout-to-walk ratio in seven home starts this season.

Hernandez will appear in just his third game of the season; it will be his second start and second against the Cardinals. Down in Miami last week, Hernandez held the Cardinals to three runs in 5 23 innings. He whiffed seven batters and gave up a double to Paul Goldschmidt and a triple to Harrison Bader.

Jack Flaherty and Jordan Yamamoto will be the matchup on Tuesday. Flaherty allowed five runs in 5 13 frames against the Mets on Thursday. He struck out eight. In 40 innings at Busch this year, Flaherty has held batters to a .188 average with just seven walks.

Yamamoto was tough on this St. Louis bunch last week. In his first MLB game, Yamamoto blanked the Cardinals over seven innings, with just three hits and two walks as his only blemishes.

Trevor Richards will go for the Marlins on Wednesday. Richards is a native of Aviston, Illinois, a town about 40 miles east of St. Louis. So, it’s likely that Richards will have many friends and family members in attendance. Richards allowed a career-high 11 hits in his last start against the Pirates. Richards leads Miami’s staff with a .229 opponents’ average and 3.68 ERA.

In Thursday’s finale, Pablo Lopez will take the mound for Miami. In three June starts, Lopez has allowed four runs in 19 innings. During that stretch, Lopez has 18 strikeouts and three walks, sculpting his 0.89 WHIP.

The Cardinals have not publicly confirmed their pitching plans for the games on Wednesday and Thursday. Wednesday’s spot is what has been Adam Wainwright’s for much of the season. Wainwright is currently shelved with a hamstring strain. Daniel Ponce de Leon started in his place on Friday in New York. As for Thursday, that spot has recently belonged to Michael Wacha. Wacha allowed five runs in four innings against the Mets his last time out after shutting the Marlins out for six innings in the start before that.

So, to recap:

Monday, 6/17, 7:15 | Mikolas v Hernandez | FSMW, KMOX, CRN, WJIR

Tuesday, 6/18, 7:15 | Flaherty v Yamamoto | FSMW, KMOX, CRN, WJIR

Wednesday, 6/19, 7:15 | TBD v Richards | FSMW, KMOX, CRN, WJIR

Thursday, 6/20, 6:15 | TBD v Lopez | FSMW, KMOX, CRN, WJIR

Notes from around the league:

  • Edwin Encarnacion will make his Yankees debut on Monday. He is in the lineup as the designated hitter, batting fifth against the Rays.
  • Nationals first baseman Matt Adams hit a three-run homer and a grand slam on Sunday in Washington’s 15-5 victory over the Diamondbacks.