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Series Preview 8/24-26: Royals vs. Cardinals

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MLB: Cincinnati Reds at St. Louis Cardinals Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

By taking three of four from the Reds over the weekend, the Cardinals are back above the .500 mark and open the last full week of August with a 9-8 record. The I-70 Series is alive this week, as the Royals are in St. Louis for three games, starting Monday evening.

Since returning from the COVID IL, Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina is 7-for-17 with five runs batted in. Outfielders Harrison Bader and Dylan Carlson enjoyed the past weekend, too; Bader homered on Saturday and Sunday, his first long balls of the year, and Carlson hit his first MLB home run on Sunday afternoon.

Mike Matheny is in first season of managing the Royals and will make his first regular-season appearance at Busch Stadium since the Cardinals dismissed him in July of 2018. Matheny’s Royals enter the series with an 11-17 record, with losses in five of their last seven games.

Jack Flaherty will start for the Cardinals on Monday evening. This will be Flaherty’s third start of the season. Back on 8/19 against the Cubs, in the first game of that day’s doubleheader, Flaherty was pulled with two outs in the second inning with a pitch count of 41. The team likely has a number in mind this evening for their 24-year-old — but don’t tell him.

The Cardinals will face Brad Keller on Monday. Keller is 3-0 to open the season has turned in scoreless work through his first three starts of the season, logging 6 23 innings against the Reds in his most recent outing. Keller is in pretty good company to open his 2020 campaign.

St. Louis will give the ball to Adam Wainwright on Tuesday. Wainwright worked seven innings against the Reds last week, surrendering two earned runs (four total) with zero walks along the way. This will be Wainwright’s 13th appearance and 10th start against the Cardinals’ inner-state rivals.

Matt Harvey will make his second start as a Royal on Tuesday. Harvey, the seventh overall pick of the Mets back in 2010, elected free agency back in November and just signed with Kansas City about a month ago. Harvey worked three innings against the Reds on 8/19 in what was his first Major League appearance in more than a year. Harvey last started for the Angels in July of 2019.

Dakota Hudson is in line to start for the Cardinals on Wednesday, but that has not been publicly announced at this time. Hudson worked 4 23 innings of scoreless ball against the Reds on Friday, holding Cincy to one hit with six punchouts. It’s a similar story on the KC side: lefty Danny Duffy lines up for the Wednesday start, but that has not been confirmed. Duffy has been with the Royals since 2011, and Wednesday would be his team-high seventh start of the year. Opponents have hit a meager .190 off Duffy in 29 13 frames in 2020.

Monday, 8/24, 7:15 | Flaherty vs. Keller | FSMW, KMOX, WJIR

Tuesday, 8/25, 7:15 | Wainwright vs. Harvey | FSMW, KMOX, WJIR

Wednesday, 8/26, 7:15 | TBD | FSMW, KMOX, WJIR