The Arizona Diamondbacks try to avoid a two-game losing streak when they take on the host St. Louis Cardinals in the first of a three-game series between slumping National League clubs on Monday night. The series opener is scheduled for an 8:15 p.m. ET first pitch at Busch Stadium in St. Louis.
The Diamondbacks snapped a 24-game road losing streak with a 10-1 win at San Diego on Saturday but dropped the series finale to the Padres on Sunday. Arizona is 22-57, the worst record in baseball, and in last place in the NL West, 9½ games behind the fourth-place Colorado Rockies.
St. Louis has been struggling as well, losing eight of its last 10 to fall to 37-41. The Cardinals are in fourth place in the NL Central, trailing the third-place Cincinnati Reds by two games and leading the last-place Pittsburgh Pirates by seven games.
If you want to bet on this game, the MLB odds have the Cardinals at -165, while the Diamondbacks are listed at +145. The over/under for the contest has been set at 8½ runs.
Hitting the Ball
Although they dropped two of three to the Padres, the Diamondbacks did score some runs over the weekend, averaging 6.3 runs over the three-game set. The 10 runs Arizona scored in Saturday’s victory were its most since an 11-4 win over Washington on May 15.
Third baseman Eduardo Escobar has two home runs in his last four games, giving him a team-best 17. He’s tied for 10th in the majors with his 52 RBIs and he’s also had 11 doubles, two triples and a team-best 39 runs scored, missing hitting for the cycle on Saturday by a triple.
First baseman Pavin Smith comes into this series on a six-game hit streak, leading the Diamondbacks with a .276 batting average. Smith is tied with Josh Rojas for second on the team with 38 runs scored and has driven in 25 runs as well.
Right-hander Jake Faria will make his first start of the season for the Diamondbacks. He has three appearances, pitching four innings in relief and striking out five and walking one while putting together a 4.50 ERA.
Faria hasn’t started a game since he made 12 starts for Tampa Bay in 2018. He had 16 combined appearances with the Tampa Bay Rays and Milwaukee Brewers in 2019 and spent most of this season with the Los Angeles Angels’ Triple-A affiliate, the Salt Lake Bees, before being released on June 16.
Ready to Rebound
The Cardinals have gone from first place in the NL Central to fourth after losing 19 of their last 26 games. St. Louis dropped three of four at home to the last-place Pirates over the weekend, but Cardinals manager Mike Shildt still has faith in his club.
“I’m really optimistic about where the offense is headed, really optimistic for where that group’s going,” Shildt said after Sunday’s loss. “We just have to be able to hold people at bay to give us a chance.”
Left-hander Wade LeBlanc will make his first start with St. Louis on Monday. LeBlanc made one start for Baltimore earlier this season before being signed by the Cardinals earlier this month.
The 36-year-old has made four relief appearances for the Cardinals over 6.2 innings, allowing three runs on eight hits, including two home runs. Most of that came in a 2½-inning stint against Pittsburgh on Thursday, as he gave up three runs on five hits, including two home runs in an 8-2 loss.
Third baseman Nolan Arenado has been the most consistent hitter for St. Louis, leading the team with a .266 batting average and 50 RBIs while tying for the team lead with 15 home runs. Arenado has two home runs in his last five games, and he had a double and home run in 13 at-bats against Arizona earlier this season.
First baseman Paul Goldschmidt has struggled to reach his usual All-Star form, batting just .249. He went 2-for-14 with a home run in the four-game series against the Pirates, giving him 11 home runs and 40 RBIs.
As bad as St. Louis has been lately, it should catch a break in this series against a Diamondbacks team that has really struggled on the road. The earlier series between these two clubs saw St. Louis win three times, but one win was in extra innings while another ended with Arizona having the winning run on base in the ninth.
The Diamondbacks avoid Adam Wainwright in this series, as Carlos Martinez (3-9) and Kwang Hyun Kim (1-5) are slated to make starts for the Cardinals. Arizona will have Caleb Smith (2-3) and Corbin Martin (1-4) making starts after Faria.
The series prices have the Cardinals at -210 while the Diamondbacks are listed at +165.
Diamondbacks Get Win
St. Louis is really struggling right now and the Diamondbacks showed something over the weekend with their offensive output against the Padres. The Cardinals’ losing continues as Arizona gets a rare road win.
When making your MLB betting picks, take Arizona to win on the road.
Pick: Arizona Diamondbacks +145