The Padres (46-59) start a 3-game home series with the St. Louis Cardinals (56-48). The Padres are coming off of a 4-game series loss to the Braves. The Cardinals just won a series against the Cubs. The Cardinals are in second place, 1.5 games behind the Brewers in the NL Central. The Red Birds are playing without their star catcher Yadier Molina, who is on the DL with thumb surgery, he will not be back until towards the end of the season.
Game 1 will feature Tyson Ross (9-10, 2.65 ERA) against Lance Lynn (11-7, 3.05 ERA). Ross has a 1.03 ERA in July and is a serious contender for pitcher of the month and looks to get win number 10. Lynn has 16 strikeouts in the last 12 innings pitched.
Game 2 has the rookie Jesse Hahn (6-2, 2.12 ERA) pitching against Joe Kelly (2-1, 3.90 ERA). Hahn has only allowed one earned run in each of his last two starts. Kelly got roughed up in his last start by the Cubs, allowing 5 runs on 8 hits in 4.2 innings.
The finale in the series has the other Padres rookie Odrisamer Despaigne (2-2, 1.66 ERA) against Shelby Miller (7-8, 4.20 ERA). Despaigne faced adversity in his last start against the Braves, allowing going 3.2 innings. Miller has not won a start since June 7th.
The Cardinals are not the great, clutch hitting team of last year that sent them to the World Series. They have a team average of .251 and are second to last in the majors in home runs. They also lead the National League in double plays grounded into. Matt Adams is having a career year so far, with 12 HRs and a .316 average. Matt Holliday is also having a decent year, he leads the team with 53 RBI. Their pitching has kept them in contention. They have surrendered the least amount of home runs in the MLB and they are in the top 10 in ERA.
The key to a series win is have all 3 starters go deep into the game and pitch like they know how. The Padres may only need 2 or 3 runs to beat the Cardinals with some stellar pitching. The bullpen could also use some rest from a tedious 4-game series with Atlanta.