Though their chances of making the playoffs are slim, the Cincinnati Reds are still alive in the National League Wild Card chase and need a win over the St. Louis Cardinals on Saturday to keep those playoff hopes alive.
Cincinnati Reds (-125, 9) vs. St. Louis Cardinals
On the mound for the Cardinals is Drew Rom, who has struggled in his seven career starts with at least three runs in five of them with a 7.98 ERA with 4.9 walks and 1.8 home runs per nine innings allowed.
Rom has to face a Reds offense that has been better on the road than at home, averaging 4.6 runs per game at home compared to 4.9 runs per game on the road and rank fourth in the National League in road on-base percentage at .326.
Helping the Reds offense further is the Cardinals having one healthy relief pitcher in Ryan Helsley with an ERA below 3.90 for the season and overall the Cardinals are 23rd in the league in bullpen ERA this season while the Reds are 16th in this category.
The Cardinals offense entered the series in need of a spark, ranking last in the league with 3.6 runs per game in their last 41 games since August 13 and have a chance to find it against young Reds starter Connor Phillips.
Phillips is making his fifth career start and while he has good raw stuff with 11.3 strikeouts per nine innings, he is also allowing 2.2 home runs and 4.4 walks per nine innings, posting a 5.66 ERA and 6.48 fielding independent.
With a pair of rookies getting the start and the Reds offense doing its best work on the road this season, plenty of runs appear to be on tap for Saturday in St. Louis.
The Play: Reds vs. Cardinals Over 9