Tuesday night baseball and we will see the Arizona Diamondbacks travel to the Midwest to take on the St. Louis Cardinals in game 1 of their 3 game series. The game is scheduled for an 8:15 (ET) pm start time and it will be televised live on Fox Sports Arizona and Fox Sports Midwest. Currently the odds have St Louis favored at -109, while Arizona is dogs of +101. The total for the game sits at 9 runs.
Free Analysis: The Diamondbacks (58-57) are within striking distance of both the top spot in the NL West and wild-card leaders Atlanta and Pittsburgh, but manager Kirk Gibson isn't pleased with a team that's made 10 errors in its last seven games. "We have to play a cleaner game," Gibson said Sunday prior to Arizona's 30th game in 31 days. "There is a bit of fatigue, so there are going to be mistakes. We're trying not to, and we moved on very quickly. It's very frustrating for everybody, but we move on and get back after it. We've lost some tough games." The Diamondbacks Ian Kennedy gets the ball tonight and they hope the right-hander fares better than he did in his last start against St. Louis, when he allowed six runs over seven innings in a 6-1 loss May 8 in Arizona. Ian Kennedy's latest start was perhaps his toughest - and unquestionably his shortest - of the season. Arizona gave the right-hander a 2-0 cushion in the first, but Kennedy (10-9, 4.34) immediately surrendered the lead and wound up allowing six runs over four innings in a 7-6 defeat. Jaime Garcia's return to the St. Louis Cardinals' rotation may be just days away, and that means someone has to go. If Joe Kelly pitches anything like he did in his latest start, Mike Matheny's decision shouldn't be too difficult. Kelly (2-5, 3.47 ERA) got the call from Triple-A Memphis when Garcia went down with a left shoulder sprain in early June, and included in his first 11 major league appearances is a stretch of seven straight quality starts. That run ended when he allowed three runs and 12 baserunners over 5 2-3 innings Aug. 3 against Milwaukee, and he was even less effective Wednesday. The right-hander was charged with seven runs - four earned - and nine hits over five innings in a 15-0 loss to San Francisco. St. Louis swept a three-game set in the desert, back in May, and has outscored Arizona 33-17 while winning five straight in the series. Three of the Cardinals' eight homers against the Diamondbacks in May came from Carlos Beltran, who seems to torment Arizona regardless of where he's playing. The NL RBI leader with 83, Beltran is hitting .431 with a 1.338 OPS in 15 games against the Diamondbacks - while wearing three different uniforms - since 2011. Justin Upton, on the other hand, hasn't enjoyed facing St. Louis. His .204 career average versus the Cardinals is his lowest against any NL team, though like the rest of the Diamondbacks, he's never faced Kelly.
Free Pick: Despite the rough season that Kennedy has had and the bad numbers he has vs the cards I will back him tonight. Ian had a rough outing vs Pittsburgh his last time out, but prior to that he had won his last 4 starts and had a 2.54 ERA in those starts. Joe Kelly is a rookie for the cards and after posting 7 quality starts in a row he has had BB roiugh outings and may lose his spot in the rotation once Jaime Garcia comes back. That may give him motivation, but I feel the15-0 loss to the Giants in his last start will really affect his confidence more so than his motivation to stay in the rotation. I don't care if you're a rookie of a veteran, you lose a game 15-0 it has to affect something upstairs. THe Cards offense is loaded, but they do come in averaging just 2.8 rpg in their last 6 games, while the D-Backs have averaged 5.8 rpg in their last 6. St Louis is reeling a bit right now and I look for Arizona to take advantage tonight with a big win in game 1 of this series.
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Pregame TV: Q & A with Wiseguy Frank
Host Johnny Detroit talks with Wiseguy Frank about his style of handicapping as well as Frank's success last football season and other strategies.