The Cards are looking to go eight games over .500 tonight and to continue gaining ground on the first-place Brewers in today’s matinee against the Dodgers. So far this season, the Dodgers have taken three of five games against the Cards, mainly on the back of their elite pitching staff. However, with trade talks involving Matt Kemp swirling around the Dodger clubhouse, it will be interesting to see how focused this team really is.

The Pitching Matchup: Joe Kelly (1-1, 3.44 ERA) takes the mound for the home team tonight in just his second start since coming off of the DL. His first start against Milwaukee didn’t quite go as planned as the Brewers hammered him for six runs in just 3 innings of work. However, the offense came to life and the Cards came away with a win in that game, taking it 7-6. Today’s contest doesn’t look to be any easier, as the Dodgers’ current lineup has hit .304 against Kelly, including Adrian Gonzalez who has gone 4 for 7 with a double and a homer. Hopefully, the long break gave Kelly time to overcome any lasting discomfort from his tweaked hamstring, so he can come back to form today.

Joe Kelly
Joe Kelly

From the other dugout comes Dodgers’ number two and 2014 All-Star Zack Greinke (11-5, 2.73 ERA). Greinke is having a spectacular season so far, posting a 3.0 WAR in just 19 starts. Greinke also dominated this Cardinals’ lineup back on June 28 when he went 7 innings only giving up one run on four hits with ten strikeouts. Over his last six starts against the Cards, Greinke is 5-0 with a 1.74 ERA.

The Skinny: The Cardinals have their work cut out for them today between Kelly’s shakiness and Greinke’s dominance. Hopefully, Matt Holliday continues his hot streak and some of the other Cardinal bats heat up enough to power this club to a win today. No matter what the outcome of this game though, this team needs Joe Kelly to be consistent down the stretch run of this playoff race, so a matchup against a contending team like the Dodgers should be a worthy test. If Kelly falters today, look for the Cards to make a move to bolster the rotation.

The Lineup

  1. Matt Carpenter 3B
  2. Kolten Wong 2B
  3. Matt Holliday LF
  4. Matt Adams 1b
  5. Jhonny Peralta SS
  6. Oscar Taveras RF
  7. George Kottaras C
  8. Jon Jay CF
  9. Kelly P