Every game is vital for the St. Louis Cardinals, who are currently slotted in as the second Wild Card team in the National League. They have have been playing extremely well of late, but they cannot take this Royals team lightly. For all of the losses KC has posted this year, they boast a number of tremendous hitters and can play spoiler this week, and there is no doubt they will be looking to apply pressure at every turn in this series.
The Royals are 33 games under .500, but that does not mean they will just fold. KC is building for the future, and though it does not seem that a playoff appearance is anywhere on the horizon for them, competing each night and getting their prospects Major League time is what matters the most here. They do possess one of the top hitters in the AL in Whit Merrifield and have some promising youngsters on the come-up.
The moneyline on the Royals is listed at +185, while it is listed at -210 for the Cardinals. The over/under is set at 9.5 runs.
Cardinals Look To Keep Winning
While Paul Goldschmidt has continued to stay hot and crush the ball (26 HRs, 62 RBI), it was rookie Lane Thomas who came through in a big way this weekend, knocking a grand slam out of the park as insurance on yet another win for this streaking team. They will finally be getting Yadier Molina back, shifting Matt Wieters to the bench, where he can act as a serviceable backup. They may also be getting Tyler O’Neill back, and if so, the offense is at full strength minus Jose Martinez. Whatever Mike Shildt has been doing here the past month and a half, it has been working.
Jack Flaherty will take the mound for his 24th start of the season. He has posted a 5-6 record with a 3.72 ERA in 128 1/3 innings of work, striking out a team-high 150 batters while walking 41.
Royals Try To Play Spoiler
Yes, it is true they have done nothing but lose this year, and it has been tough without Salvador Perez, who had Tommy John surgery just a few weeks into the season. But their DH Jorge Soler has done what few guys have done before him: Hit more home runs in one season than in his previous four. He has 35 HRs and 87 RBI for KC this season (like Jose Bautista did when he got to Toronto), and Merrifield has 154 hits (14 HRs, 62 RBI, .306 average). Alex Gordon is still producing for the Royals, driving in 63 runs to date.
Glenn Sparkman will make his 15th start (23rd appearance) for KC. He has posted a 3-7 record with a 5.71 ERA in 93 innings of work, striking out 56 batters while walking 27.
Cardinals Win The Opener
Paul Goldschmidt’s 27th home run of the season will power STL to the victory!
Free Play: STL -210
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