With the Cardinals just being swept by the Texas Rangers and the Pittsburgh Pirates pulling within one game in the Central, the “best fans in baseball” have been unfairly crying for help.
Well, help is on the way in the form of a familiar foe–the Houston Astros. Although the Astros may be performing better than one would think given their minuscule payroll and underwhelming roster, they still are 19 games under the .500 mark.
The Cardinals beat up on the Astros last season–compiling 11 wins to just 4 losses. Thus, with this being just a short two-game series in Houston, I fully expect the Cardinals to win both–improving their overall record to 49-29.
Hitting Matchups for the Cardinals
Expect Yadier Molina to break out of his mini slump (0 for his last 8) in a big way tonight against Astros’ starter, Lucas Harrell. For his career, Molina has 7 hits in 12 at-bats against Harrell with one home run and 4 RBI. It does not stop there, though, because Molina loves hitting against tomorrow’s starter, Erik Bedard, as well. In his career, he has 4 hits in 8 at-bats with one home run and 3 RBI.
I would not be surprised to see David Freese have a big game tonight as well considering he has 5 hits in 10 at-bats against Harrell. Of those 5 hits, one has left the field of play for a home run, and he has driven in two runs. Freese, like Molina, has also had success against Bedard with 3 hits in 9 at-bats, so expect him to have a good two game series as well.
Probable Pitchers for the Cardinals
Jake Westbrook toes the rubber tonight, and I expect him to build on his last outing against the Chicago Cubs. It is only his third start back from the disabled list, so efficiency in his pitch count will be key, especially in the Houston heat.
Lance Lynn is on the mound tomorrow night, and he will be looking to capture his NL-leading 11th win of the season–something Adam Wainwright was unable to do on Sunday night against the Rangers. Lynn will especially have to be efficient in his pitch count as he has shown endurance issues so far this season.
Thus, this was just a very brief overview of the upcoming series with the Astros, but I hope I was able to provide you with some insight and some matchups to look at throughout the two games. I expect the Cardinals to take care of business in Houston. Let’s just hope the Seattle Mariners can tackle the Pirates tonight to help give the Cardinals a more comfortable cushion in the division. Also, I would not mind seeing the Oakland Athletics beat up on the Cincinnati Reds as well.
Until next time…