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Series Preview 8/5-7: Cardinals at Dodgers

St. Louis Cardinals v Cincinnati Reds
Wacha will return to the starting rotation on Monday.
Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images

Entering the first full week of August, the Cardinals are 58-52 and in second place in the National League Central, 1 12 games back of the Cubs. Before they return home this weekend, the Cardinals have a three-game series with the Dodgers in Los Angeles this week. The Dodgers are an MLB-best 74-40 and own a more-than-comfortable 17-game lead in the West.

In Monday’s series opener, Tony Gonsolin and Michael Wacha will be the pitching matchup. This will be just the third appearance of Gonsolin’s career and second start. The Dodgers drafted Gonsolin back in 2016, and the 25-year-old made his Major League debut back on June 26th. In 12 starts at Triple-A Oklahoma City this season, Gonsolin has 41 strikeouts in 36 13 innings.

This will be Wacha’s first start since July 4th, as he switching back to the rotation in place of Daniel Ponce de Leon. This current Dodgers’ roster has a combined .398/.450/.673 (not a typo) slash-line facing Wacha, with five hits apiece for A.J. Pollock, Corey Seager, and Justin Turner.

Clayton Kershaw and Miles Mikolas will go on Tuesday night. Dating back to the start of July, Kershaw has a 1.74 ERA in 31 innings across five starts, during which he has whiffed 40 batters. Kershaw’s walk rate sits at 1.98 for the season as a whole, and that is highest since 2012. Tuesday will be Kershaw’s 20th start of the year and make 2019 the 12th consecutive year in which he has started at least 20 games. Paul Goldschmidt has taken Kershaw deep three times.

Mikolas did not allow an earned run in his last start against the Cubs and has allowed just six in his last 26 2/3 innings, dating back to his first outing after the All-Star break. Mikolas enters this assignment with left-handed batters hitting .298 against him, so we’ll see how he fares against Dodgers sluggers Seager, Cody Bellinger, Joc Pederson, and Max Muncy.

In the finale of this three-game series on Wednesday, Dustin May and Jack Flaherty will toe the rubber. May made his Major League debut on Friday against the Padres and allowed three earned runs through 5 23 innings. The 21-year-old May represented the Dodgers in the Futures Game and had a 2.30 ERA with 24 strikeouts in five starts at Triple-A before he was called up.

Flaherty was very sharp in his last start, one-hitting the Cubs through seven innings. Flaherty has a 25:5 strikeout-to-walk ratio in his last three starts and will make his 23rd start of the season on Wednesday. This will be his second start of the season against the Dodgers; Flaherty tossed a quality start back on April 10th.

So, to recap:

Monday, 8/5, 9:10 | Gonsolin vs. Wacha | FSMW, KMOX, CRN

Tuesday, 8/6, 9:10 | Kershaw vs. Mikolas | FSMW, KMOX, CRN

Wednesday, 8/7, 3:10 | May vs. Flaherty | Youtube, KMOX, CRN

Notes from around the league:

  • On Monday, the Brewers placed starter Zach Davies on the injured list with back stiffness; Cubs closer Craig Kimbrel hit the shelf, too, with knee inflammation.
  • The Nationals signed Asdrubal Cabrera to a Major League contract. The 33-year-old Cabrera was recently designated for assignment by the Rangers.