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Game Preview: Cards at Dodgers (06/26/14)

After taking two of three games from the Rockies on the road, the Cards start a four-game road series against the Dodgers that could have serious playoff implications down the line. The Dodgers (44-36) and Cardinals (43-36) lead the race for the two Wild Card spots, and both teams have been playing well lately, with the Cards winning 4 of 5 and the Dodgers winning 7 of their last 9 games.

Pitching Matchup: Adam Wainwright takes the mound for the Cards sporting the most wins in the National League (10) and the second lowest ERA (2.08). In his last start, Wainwright pitched spectacularly in eight innings of work, conceding just one run in a key win against the Phillies. Even more frightening for the Dodgers is the fact that he is 2-0 with a 1.17 ERA so far this month. In his last 11 starts against the Dodgers, Waino has recorded a 4-4 record and 2.18 ERA, though he lost his last start against the Dodgers in the NLCS when he tossed seven innings and allowed two runs. Not many Dodgers players have had good success against Wainwright, but look for Andre Either to potentially break through for LA, as he is batting over .300 with a few homers against him.

Adam Wainwright will look to lift the Cards to a series-opening victory.
Adam Wainwright will look to lift the Cards to a series-opening victory.

On the other side, the upstart Josh Beckett (5-4, 2.28 ERA) will look to add to his phenomenal comeback season after missing most of last season with a pinched nerve in his neck. Similarly to Waino, Beckett has pitched well this June with a 2-2 record and 1.73 ERA. In his last start against the offensively challenged Padres, Beckett threw seven scoreless innings. The last time he started against the Cardinals was all the way back in 2012, when he pitched 5.1 innings and allowed one run on seven hits.

The Skinny: Everything seems to point to a pitchers’ duel tonight, but the Cards had a strong offensive showing in the hitter-friendly Coors Field, and they have scored an average of 6.2 runs in their last five games. So with the way the Cardinals offense has recently been hitting, it could turn into a blowout as long as Waino pitches like he has all season.