The St. Louis Cardinals will close out their National League series on the road at Marlins Park on Wednesday evening as they get set for a clash versus the Miami Marlins.
A date versus the Marlins has been exactly what the struggling Cardinals needed to get back on the winning track. After scoring just 10 runs over their previous six games entering this series, the Cardinals have scored a total of 11 times in the first two games — winning both. Will St. Louis be able to complete the sweep on the road against an offensively-challenged Marlins team?
Mikolas searching for first win since May 6
St. Louis finally got some good news as they try to get back in the NL playoff hunt. Longtime Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina has been activated from the injured list after missing 11 games with a strained tendon in his right thumb. At the time of his injury, Molina led all MLB catchers in games, innings caught, RBIs and hits. The team optioned rookie catcher Andrew Knizner to Triple-A Memphis in order to make room for Molina on the active roster ahead of Tuesday’s game. The 36-year-old is batting .268 with four home runs and 33 RBIs this season and he remains one of the league’s best behind the plate defensively, so his presence in the clubhouse will be a major plus for the struggling Red Birds.
St. Louis is scheduled to turn to 30-year-old Miles Mikolas as he tries for his first win in over a month. The Cardinals right-hander is without a victory since May 6 and he’s lost four straight decisions coming into Wednesday’s start. Mikolas is fresh off of a shortened four-inning appearance, allowing three earned runs on four hits in a loss to the Chicago Cubs. Despite all that, he still has six quality outings in his last nine starts to go along with a 4-6 record and a 4.54 ERA.
Mikolas will be happy to oppose the Marlins on the hill after what he did to them last season. In 2018, the Cardinals right-hander finished 2-0 with a 1.29 ERA against Miami, allowing just three runs (two earned) in 14 combined innings of work. According to Baseball Savant, the current Marlins’ roster is batting a slim .138 in 30 plate appearances off of Mikolas heading into Wednesday’s matchup.
Urena tries to get back on winning track vs. Cardinals
Miami’s offense has been responsible for a couple of outbursts this year, but they have really struggled to generate any kind of power at the plate, which has made it difficult for them to put up runs on a consistent basis. As a result, Miami ranks last in the MLB in runs scored, home runs and OPS through their first 64 games of the season.
The Marlins will call upon right-hander Jose Urena for the final game of their series against the Cardinals. The 27-year-old is 4-7 with a 4.70 ERA in 14 games this season and he had been on a roll prior to his recent outing. Urena saw his three-game winning streak come to an end last time out against the Atlanta Braves, allowing six earned runs on 11 hits in just three frames.
Over the past three seasons, Urena has made three starts against St. Louis, going 2-1 with an 8.79 ERA. While he’s won each of his last two outings against them, he could be in for another tough day. According to Baseball Savant, the current Cardinals’ roster is batting a healthy .490 in 51 plate appearances off of Urena heading into this game. Prior to that outing, the Marlins’ right-hander had logged quality starts in five straight starts and eight of his previous nine.
- Marlins are 0-5 in their last 5 home games.
- Marlins are 16-35 in Urena’s last 51 home starts.
- Marlins are 4-9 in Urena’s last 13 starts.
- Cardinals are 10-1 in Mikolas’ last 11 starts during game 3 of a series.
- Cardinals are 9-1 in Mikolas’ last 10 road starts vs. a team with a losing record.
- Cardinals are 12-3 in Mikolas’ last 15 starts following a team loss in their previous game.