Cincinnati Reds (61-65) at St. Louis Cardinals (68-57)
Wednesday, August 20 - 7:15 PM EST
Busch Stadium, St. Louis, Missouri
Johnny Cueto looks to become baseball's first 16-game winner and breathe some life into the stumbling Cincinnati Reds when they play the finale of a three-game series in St. Louis on Wednesday. Cueto has won five straight starts and seven consecutive decisions, making him one of the few bright spots in a dismal nosedive for the Reds. They have dropped the first two games of the series, four straight overall and nine of 11 to fall five games behind the second wild card.
The Cardinals have notched walk-off wins in each game of the series against Cincinnati's struggling bullpen, which has endured three straight bad days and is hoping for the best with closer Aroldis Chapman's sore shoulder. St. Louis is going in the other direction, winning six of seven to keep pace with first-place Milwaukee - 2 1/2 games behind in the National League Central - and maintain its lead in the wild-card race. The Cardinals have won each of the last 11 three-game series versus the Reds and are 27-3-2 in the past 32 series between the division rivals.
TV: 7:15 p.m. ET, FSN Ohio (Cincinnati), FSN Midwest (St. Louis)
PITCHING MATCHUP: Reds RH Johnny Cueto (15-6, 2.06 ERA) vs. Cardinals RH Lance Lynn (13-8, 2.91)
Cueto's latest effort at Colorado on Friday saw him give up two runs in eight innings of a 3-2 win. It marked the fifth straight time he has lasted at least seven frames, during which he is 5-0 with a 1.62 ERA. Cueto, a first-time All-Star this year, has a 5.63 ERA in eight career starts in St. Louis.
Lynn is 2-0 against the Reds this year despite giving up eight runs in 11 innings in his two previous encounters, which also were his first two starts of the season. He yielded a run in six strong frames to defeat San Diego on Friday and improve to 8-3 with a 2.53 ERA at home. Lynn is 46-24 in 89 career starts.
1. Cardinals OF Jon Jay is 10-for-21 with three home runs against Cueto.
2. Reds 2B Brandon Phillips has an 83-game errorless streak, one shy of a career high.
3. St. Louis SS Jhonny Peralta is 9-for-24 with two homers and six RBIs through the first six games of the homestand.
PREDICTION: Cardinals 4, Reds 3