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Series Preview: Seeing the Twins

For the first time since the 100 win 2015 season, the Cardinals are going to play the Minnesota Twins. That last series ended up in a 4 game split, where we left in disappointment following a meltdown by our bullpen. Kevin Siegrist allowed a Joe Mauer homer to tie it up and then Carlos Villanueva served up a meatball to Kennys Vargas. That series had some good moments, with four good starts from the rotation and Jason Heyward keeping the offense alive.

Luckily for us the two losses both took place at Minnesota after winning two at Busch.

Times have changed since then, with the Twins making a large amount of additions in the offseason to contend for the wild card. One such addition was pitcher Lance Lynn, who the Cardinals will unfortunately avoid facing this time around.

The Twins are fresh off a surprising win where they broke up James Shield’s no hit bid and took three out of four against the White Sox. Outfielder Eddie Rosario and shortstop Eduardo Escobar are still red hot. I would expect them to be just as ready to match the momentum the Cardinals have after their sweep of the Cubs this weekend.

The Starters

Monday- John Gant (4.61 Career ERA) vs Fernando Romero (Scoreless 1st Start); start time is 7:10 CT

Gant, acquired in the Jaime Garcia deal, has been a part of the Memphis shuffle for the Cards and a starter at Memphis. He’s here to cover for Adam Wainwright while he rehabs from his injury. This is his first start since he gave up two home runs to Scooter Gennett on his way to making history with four.

Fernando Romero held the Blue Jays scoreless for five strong innings in his debut. He took the spot of former strong starter Phil Hughes after some very rough outings and a disaster of three seasons. He’s the 66th overall prospect according to MLB Pipeline and would be even higher if injury didn’t hold him back.

Tuesday- Carlos Martinez (3-1, 1.40 ERA) vs Jake Odorizzi (2-2, 4.10 ERA); start time 12:15 CT

Since his Opening Day disaster against the Mets, Martinez has been PHENOMENAL in his last six starts. Combined he’s given up 3 runs over 40.2 innings, good for a 0.66 ERA. He’s also striking out plenty, with 40 Ks to match his innings. He was a part of that good starting pitching against Minnesota in 2015, with one run 6.2 innings to give the offense a chance.

Odorizzi was long a rumored trade target for the Cardinals themselves and he eventually found his way to the Twins. I think he’s been exactly what the Twins wanted, someone who had a good shot at 6 innings and 3-4 runs allowed, finishing around that besides two 4 inning clunkers. He has given the Cardinals a hard time in his Rays career, with 3 starts, 16.2 innings, and a 3.24 era to show for it. This should be a good matchup.

Marcell Ozuna is 4-10 (.400) with a home run, two walks, and also five strikeouts off of Odorizzi.

Hot/Cold

Marcell Ozuna, 5-13 (.385)

Jedd Gyorko, 4-10 (.400)

Dexter Fowler, 1-12 / Paul DeJong 0-9 (6 BBs)

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Eddie Rosario, 8-18 (.444)

Eduardo Escobar, 5-15 (.333)

Logan Morrison, 5-16 (.313)

Max Kepler, 1-14

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It should be clear weather from here on out for this two game showdown at Busch. I’m excited to see Martinez continue this stretch of success and to see Ozuna destroy Jake Odorizzi. Be prepared for Eddie Rosario and Eduardo Escobar though, they’re the real deal.

Go Cardinals!

Graham Jacobi
Graham's twitter handle is Graham_Stl. I enjoy good conversation on Twitter and am excited for this opportunity to write about the Cardinals.
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