Expert Cappers Picks
Major League Baseball
Preview
St. Louis at Cincinnati
When: 7:10 PM ET, Saturday, July 20, 2019
Where: Great American Ball Park, Cincinnati, Ohio

A seven-run lead after five innings should have been enough for the Cincinnati Reds to get back on track Friday, although overcoming deficits hasn't been much of a problem for the St. Louis Cardinals recently. The Cardinals eye a fourth straight victory and look to improve to 7-2 since the All-Star break Saturday when they play the third of four games in Cincinnati.

The Reds raced out to a 7-0 advantage Friday before St. Louis erupted for its most explosive inning in nearly seven years, scoring 10 times - including seven runs with two outs - in the sixth inning before adding two more in the next frame. The Cardinals needed every last run, however, as Cincinnati stormed back with two runs in each of the last two innings before Carlos Martinez forced Joey Votto to ground out with the tying run on third to end the game in a 12-11 triumph. The win marked the third straight game in which St. Louis dug itself out of a multi-run hole, including Thursday's opener in which the Cardinals used a five-run sixth to take the lead for good after falling behind by three runs early. Cincinnati dropped its fourth straight to fall nine games off the pace in the National League Central - twice the gap that existed for the Reds coming out of the All-Star break just over a week ago.

TV: 7:10 p.m. ET, FS Midwest (St. Louis), FS Ohio (Cincinnati)

PITCHING MATCHUP: Cardinals RH Miles Mikolas (6-9, 4.15 ERA) vs. Reds RH Luis Castillo (9-3, 2.41)

Mikolas displayed the form that made him an All-Star selection last season against Pittsburgh on Monday, firing an eight-hit shutout and inducing a career-high 20 groundballs against the 32 batters he faced. The Nova Southeastern product has not issued a free pass in any of his last three starts and only two over his past five turns overall. Jesse Winker (5-for-11, two homers) is among a handful of Reds who have fared well against Mikolas, who is 0-1 with a 6.30 ERA in two starts versus Cincinnati this season.

Castillo logged his sixth quality start in seven outings and won for the second straight start Monday in Chicago, limiting the Cubs to three runs on seven hits and three walks while fanning 10 over six innings. The 26-year-old had been dominant in his previous two turns, allowing a total of one run and four hits while striking out 15 in 14 2/3 frames. Paul Goldschmidt (2-for-11, four strikeouts) is one of several Cardinals who have struggled against Castillo, who beat St. Louis with six innings of one-run ball on June 4.

WALK-OFFS

1. The Cardinals on Friday ended a 46-game stretch in which they had failed to score at least 10 runs in a game, which was the longest active such streak in the majors.

2. Votto tallied two hits Friday to increase his career total versus the Cardinals to 194, moving into a tie with Milwaukee's Ryan Braun for the most by an active player against St. Louis.

3. Cardinals SS Paul DeJong has two home runs and seven RBIs in this series after totaling no homers and three RBIs over his previous 23 contests.

PREDICTION: Reds 4, Cardinals 2
Stats and Records
Team Comparison
  W/L Strk Home Away East Central West IL
St. Louis 50-46 W3 28-20 22-26 16-14 19-18 9-7 6-7
Cincinnati 43-52 L4 24-23 19-29 9-7 19-25 9-11 6-9
Last Meeting
St. Louis Cincinnati
Date Away Home Avg HR OPS Avg HR OPS
7/19/19 STL 12 CIN 11 .333 2 .921 .419 2 1.096
Player Stats
Season Series
Batting Player Avg Hits OPS
St. Louis M. Ozuna .308 8 1.110
Cincinnati J. Winker .406 13 1.222
Offense Player HR Runs RBI
St. Louis P. DeJong 3 8 10
Cincinnati J. Winker 3 9 7
Pitching ERA Avg K
St. Louis 5.06 .275 65
Cincinnati 4.85 .279 76
Season
Batting Player Avg Hits OPS
St. Louis M. Ozuna .259 76 .847
Cincinnati J. Iglesias .285 86 .706
Offense Player HR Runs RBI
St. Louis M. Ozuna 20 52 62
Cincinnati E. Suarez 24 49 60
Pitching ERA Avg K
St. Louis 4.12 .244 828
Cincinnati 3.93 .242 913