2013 Record Against St. Louis: 8-11
Although the Cincinnati Reds are an incredibly threatening team, the Cardinals seem to have handled them quite well. Starting off at 10-3 against their NL Central opponents sure helped.
However, it is a bit worrisome that the Reds took three of four in the two teams' last series of the year, not to mention the fact that Cincinnati knows the Cardinals well. This is experience vs. familiarity.
Reds' Notable Statistics: .251 Team BA, 633 Runs Scored, .234 Team BA Against Cardinals
Cardinals' Notable Statistics: .268 Team BA, 697 Runs Scored, .261 Team BA Against Reds
The Reds lineup is stacked with MVP names like Joey Votto to newer acquisitions like Shin-Soo Choo. It can hang with the best offenses in the NL.
But when it comes to this particular matchup, the Cardinals probably like their chances. St. Louis hit these opponents much better than vice versa. Then, there's the fact that the Cardinals are a historic .329 with runners in scoring position, while the Reds are .250.
As previously mentioned, the Cardinals might be missing Allen Craig due to injury, and the Reds' bats are healthy as of Thursday.
Reds' Notable Statistics: 3.35 ERA from Starters, 3.46 ERA from Relievers, 5.10 Team ERA Against Cardinals
Cardinals' Notable Statistics: 3.52 ERA from Starters, 3.52 ERA from Relievers, 3.93 Team ERA Against Reds
The Reds pitching staff is one to watch. This is where they have the slight upper-hand.
Don't let that 5.10 ERA against the Cardinals fool you. For instance, Homer Bailey hasn't allowed a run in 14.1 innings against St. Louis, but he had an ugly first start against the Redbirds.
Cincinnati has the better numbers throughout the season, as the Cardinals starters have gradually slowed since their strong showing back in April and May.
According to Mark Sheldon and Jeremy Warnemuende of MLB.com, Cincinnati is likely to be adding both Johnny Cueto and Sean Marshall to the roster in the next few weeks. Each will make an impact, although Cueto might find himself in the bullpen as opposed to his usual starting role.
Lastly, the Cardinals have a barrage of rookies and young arms who wouldn't necessarily have the experience of a seasoned playoff team.
Reds' Notable Statistics: 70 Errors
Cardinals' Notable Statistics: 66 Errors