The Cincinnati Reds will host the first-place St. Louis Cardinals as the division foes wrap up a four-game series Sunday afternoon from the Great American Ball Park. The Cardinals will hand the ball to 23-year old right-hander Jack Flaherty, and the Reds will counter with 28-year old left-hander Alex Wood. The Cardinals feature an 8-6 lead in the season series.
Flaherty Dominates Again as Shutout Streak Continues
Cardinals’ ace Jack Flaherty will take the mound for the 25th time of the season in this one. Flaherty continued his brilliance last time out, logging seven shutout innings against the Royals in a 2-0 win to bring his record to 6-6. The 6-foot-4 right-hander is enjoying a dominant stretch, tossing 21 consecutive scoreless innings which included gems against the Cubs and Dodgers, and he has improved his ERA to 3.52 to go with a 1.10 WHIP in 135.1 innings of action on the season. Flaherty has registered 11.1 shutout innings against the Reds this season, and he features a stellar 2.60 ERA and a 1-2 record in six career meetings against the division rivals.
Nothing Wong with that! 🚨 pic.twitter.com/qlk3vYcQ4t
— St. Louis Cardinals (@Cardinals) August 17, 2019
Marcell Ozuna has done solid damage against the Reds this season, collecting 10 RBI’s to go with a 1.1 OPS. The 28-year old left fielder is having a productive season, clubbing 22 home runs along with 66 RBI’s. Ozuna has only tallied four RBI’s to go with a .256 average on the month.
St. Louis stands 14 games above the .500 mark against teams with a losing record this season. They own a 3-1 record on their current six-game road trip. The Cards are peaking at the right time and the Cardinals diehard fanbase would love to see the Cardinals win the NL Central against the rival Cubs. St. Louis has a one-game lead ahead of Chicago entering Saturday.
The Cardinals are currently averaging 4.50 runs on the season, ranking them 24th in the Major Leagues. The St. Louis pitching staff is locked in, and they feature a 3.99 team ERA, good for fifth in the Majors. The Cardinals hold a 30-33 road record entering Saturday.
Wood Still Finding Form on the Mound
Alex Wood will make his fifth start of the season, eying his second win of the month. Wood was decent in his latest start, holding the Nationals to three runs in five innings, leading to the loss to even his record at 1-1. The former L.A. Dodger has missed most of the season due to injury and he is taking some time to find a groove, logging a weak 5.59 ERA and a 1.45 WHIP in 19.1 innings pitched. Wood has conceded five runs in 11.1 career innings pitched against the Cardinals. Paul Goldschmidt is 6 for 27 against Wood, while Matt Carpenter is 3 for 5, and Marcell Ozuna is 7 for 24.
— Cincinnati Reds (@Reds) August 17, 2019
Joey Votto is one of the few Cardinals hitters to have success against Cardinals’ starter Jack Flaherty, recording 5 hits in 10 at-bats with three walks. The 12-year veteran slugger is currently hitting .262 with 12 homers and 39 RBI’s. Votto is 13 for 48 with three RBI’s against the Cardinals this season. Votto is dealing with a sore back and he is questionable for this one, and Eugenio Suarez is also questionable with a thumb injury.
Cincinnati has several young hitters starting to make their presence felt. They rank in the bottom 10 in the Majors in many hitting categories, however, their young lineup should continue to progress, and their pitching has been a strength.
The Reds are scoring an average of 4.55 runs, placing them 22nd in the big leagues. The Cincinnati pitching staff is carrying a 4.24 team ERA, pegging them ninth in the Majors. The Reds are 34-19 at home.
The St. Louis Cardinals are:
- 4-1 in Flaherty’s last 5 starts.
The Cincinnati Reds are: