San Francisco Giants at St. Louis Cardinals (-185, 8.5)
If the St. Louis Cardinals expect to keep pressure on the three teams in front of them in the National League Central and wild card standings, they must continue to win at home. The Cardinals will try to improve to 5-0 in a stretch of 16 of 19 games at Busch Stadium when they host the San Francisco Giants on Tuesday in the second of a four-game series. St. Louis, which has won seven straight and 16 of its last 19 games at home - including Monday's 8-2 victory - is 2 1/2 games behind the Pittsburgh Pirates for the final NL wild card spot, three behind the Atlanta Braves for the top wild card and six back of the Cincinnati Reds in the National League Central. The Cardinals have the highest batting average in baseball at home (.292).
The Giants maintained their one-half game lead in the National League West over the Los Angeles Dodgers, who lost to the Colorado Rockies 2-0 on Monday. Tuesday's game features two of the hottest hitters in baseball. San Francisco catcher Buster Posey is hitting .458 with seven homers and 27 RBIs since the All-Star break while St. Louis outfielder Matt Holliday is batting .368 with seven homers and 19 RBIs in his last 20 games. St. Louis' Lance Lynn continues to impress in his first season as a full-time starter and will try for his 14th victory. He will oppose San Francisco's Barry Zito, who is 1-6 lifetime against the Cardinals.
TV: 8:15 p.m. ET, CS Bay Area (San Francisco), FS Midwest (St. Louis)
PITCHING MATCHUP: Giants LH Barry Zito (8-8, 4.27 ERA) vs. Cardinals RH Lance Lynn (13-4, 3.40)
Zito is 0-2 in his last three starts and has allowed 14 runs and 18 hits in 16 2/3 innings during that span. He has yielded 18 earned runs in 21 first innings this season (7.71 ERA), including four in his last outing, a 9-1 loss to the New York Mets. Zito's last victory came July 17, when he pitched seven shutout innings in a 9-0 win at Atlanta. The Cardinals' roster is hitting .311 against him, although Carlos Beltran and Holliday are a combined 15-for-69 (.217) with two homers and 11 RBIs.
Lynn has won his last three decisions covering five starts. He received a no-decision in his last outing, an 8-2 loss at Colorado on Thursday when he allowed two runs, seven hits, walked four and struck out four in six innings. Lynn yielded six runs and earned a 9-6 victory at Chicago on July 27, but in his previous three starts, he allowed one run in 19 innings. Lynn yielded five runs and lost to the Giants 12-7 in his major league debut June 2, 2011. Hunter Pence is 2-for-3 against Lynn.
*Cardinals are 5-0 in their last five home games vs. a left-handed starter.
*Giants are 0-5 in their last five games vs. a team with a winning record.
*Over is 4-0-1 in San Francisco's last five games.
*Over is 6-1 in St. Louis' last seven games vs. a left-handed starter.
UMPIRE TRENDS: Jordan Baker
Under is 6-0-1 in Bakers last seven games behind home plate.
Home team is 5-2 in Bakers last seven games behind home plate.
1. Beltran leads the NL with 78 RBIs while San Francisco's Melky Cabrera paces the NL in runs scored with 77.
2. Posey and the Cardinals' Yadier Molina both extended their hitting streaks to 10 games Monday.
3. The Giants have scored 56 runs in their last 12 games, 21 while going 1-8 and 35 in their three-game sweep over the weekend at Colorado.