St. Louis Cardinals vs. Cincinnati Reds: Series Preview and Notes

Kyle KauffungContributor IIIJune 7, 2013

CINCINNATI, OH - JUNE 3: Jay Bruce #32 and Todd Frazier #21 of the Cincinnati Reds celebrate after Bruce hit a two-run home run in the eighth inning against the Colorado Rockies during the game at Great American Ball Park on June 3, 2013 in Cincinnati, Ohio. The Reds won 3-0. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
Joe Robbins/Getty Images

The Cincinnati Reds are set to take on the St. Louis Cardinals in a three-game series between the top two teams in what is shaping up to be, arguably, the best division in baseball this season starting Friday night at Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati.

The Reds enter the series second in the NL Central with a record of 36-24, three games behind the first place Cardinals, who own a Major League leading 39-21 record.

Cincinnati has lost two games in a row—on Tuesday and Wednesday to the Colorado Rockies—and is 5-5 in their last 10 games.

St. Louis won on Thursday against the Arizona Diamondbacks while the Reds had an off day, extending their NL Central lead over Cincinnati to three games. They are 6-4 in their last 10 games.

The Reds have lost their last four series against the Cardinals.



Friday, June 7 at 7:10 p.m. ET

Mike Leake (5-2, 2.75 ERA) went six innings, giving up zero runs on seven hits while striking out five batters on Saturday in a 2-0 win against the Pittsburgh Pirates. He is 3-0 in his last four starts, allowing just one earned run while striking out 22 batters and walking four in 27 innings.


Saturday, June 8 at 7:15 p.m. ET

Mat Latos (5-0, 2.90 ERA) had a 4-2 lead when he left the game in the sixth inning against the Pirates on Sunday, but the Reds ended up losing the game 5-4 in 11 innings. He is 1-0 with a 2.84 ERA and 18 strikeouts in 19 innings in his last three starts.


Sunday, June 9 at 8:05 p.m. ET

Bronson Arroyo (6-5, 3.38 ERA) threw eight scoreless innings, allowing four hits while striking out three in a 3-0 win against the Rockies on Monday. He is 2-1 with a 3.66 ERA and eight strikeouts in 19 and two-thirds innings pitched in his last three starts.


Things to Watch on Offense

Joey Votto is first in the Majors in walks with 47, second in on-base percentage (.444) and third in runs scored with 47. He is hitting .323 and leads the Reds in hits with 73.

As reported by John Fay, Reds beat writer for the Cincinnati Enquirer, Brandon Phillips is scheduled to start on Friday after missing the series against the Rockies with a left forearm contusion.

Shin-Soo Choo is second in the Majors in walks (42), fourth in on-base percentage (.431) and seventh in runs scored with 42.