Monday, June 14, 2010

MARINERS: @St. Louis Cardinals Series Preview (June 14-16)

Interleague play continues tonight for MLB, as the Seattle Mariners (24-39) finish their current road trip by heading into St. Louis tonight for a three-game series against the Cardinals (34-29). The Cards will be happy to return home as they struggle to catch first-place in the NL Central behind the Cincinnati Reds (who head to Seattle this coming weekend). Not to mention, the M's have struggled mightily on the road (9-22), and just avoided a series sweep in San Diego.

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After a solid performance from Felix Hernandez Sunday afternoon, this snapped a five-game losing streak, the Mariners head into Missouri at the back-end of the starting rotation. In the next three games, the M’s will provide lefties Luke French (making his first major-league start of the season Monday night), Ryan Rowland-Smith, and Jason Vargas.

The Cardinals’ starting pitching appears to be much better in comparison, as Adam Wainwright (8-4, 2.30) takes the mound tonight against French. Wainwright was considered an NL Cy Young contender for the majority of the 2009 season, and is maintaining that momentum for this season as well.

Given the offensive proficiency that St. Louis has to offer in their lineup (ideally Pujols and Matt Holliday), expectations were set high for the squad to lead the league in most offensive categories. Surprisingly, the Cards have been lingering around the middle of the league, and especially struggling to provide runs as of late. Given that tonight commences a new home-stand against an unimpressive M’s pitching staff, expect the Cardinals to take full advantage and explode similarly to the Rangers in last week’s series.

For tonight’s game, the Mariners and Cardinals are featured on national television (ESPN), with first pitch scheduled for 4:05pm local time.

Reach Jacob Kehle at