St. Louis Cardinals: Kyle Lohse (10-2; 2.71 ERA)

Kyle has been the rock of the rotation.  He has been solid all year, and has really been a stabilizing factor.  In his start earlier this year against the Rockies, Lohse 7.2 innings and allowed just 2 ER, a very solid performance.  However, a matchup to note tonight: Todd Helton vs. Lohse.  Helton is a .435 batter against Lohse, and has a .519 OBP in 23 AB.


Colorado Rockies: Jeff Francis (3-2; 4.97 ERA)

Francis has started just 10 games this year, and in those starts the Rockies are 8-2.  The Rockies are averaging 6.25 runs per game in those 8 wins, however, and Francis is yet to go past 6 innings — his average start lasts just 5 innings.  Essentially, Francis has been putting up 5 very mediocre innings on a regular basis, and has been aided significantly by great run support.  In his last start against the Cardinals, he went 5 innings and allowed 2 ER, another mediocre start.

THE SKINNY: If Lohse can keep up the good work, he has Francis overmatched.  In order to win, Francis needs to limit the early damage, and get the traditional support from his offense.