Indianapolis Star
Major League Baseball
Preview
Cincinnati at St. Louis
When: 8:15 PM ET, Friday, April 20, 2018
Where: Busch Stadium, St. Louis, Missouri

The reeling Cincinnati Reds are bidding that a change in leadership will alter their fortunes on Friday when they open a three-game series against the St. Louis Cardinals at Busch Stadium. Jim Riggleman, who last managed in the majors with the Washington Nationals in June 2011, was named the interim manager after Bryan Price was dismissed following the Reds' 3-15 start to the season.

"I think we're going to hit the ground running (Friday) with Jim in place and a couple new members of the staff, and we're very focused on creating a sense of urgency for these guys to perform now," Cincinnati general manager Dick Williams said. The Reds haven't been performing that well this season, batting .220 as a team while being shut out on four occasions as they enter Friday's tilt mired in a 19-inning scoreless streak. St. Louis, which outscored Cincinnati 27-10 en route to a four-game sweep last week, saw its five-game winning streak halted with an 8-5 setback at the Chicago Cubs on Thursday afternoon. Tommy Pham collected eight hits and five runs scored in four contests against the Reds and is 5-for-10 in his career against Friday starter Brandon Finnegan.

TV: 8:15 p.m. ET, FS Ohio (Cincinnati), FS Midwest (St. Louis)

PITCHING MATCHUP: Reds LH Brandon Finnegan (0-1, 10.38 ERA) vs. Cardinals RH Michael Wacha (2-1, 5.52)

Finnegan's first start since June 26 left plenty to be desired, as the 25-year-old allowed a pair of two-out homers to Greg Garcia and five runs total in 4 1/3 innings of Saturday's 6-1 setback versus St. Louis. Finnegan struggled with his command by walking four in his first start since missing most of last season due to shoulder surgery. Yadier Molina (5-for-12) and Matt Carpenter (4-for-11) have gotten their licks in on Finnegan, but the southpaw has subdued Jedd Gyorko (1-for-11) in his career.

Wacha recorded his second straight win on April 12 despite yielding four runs in five innings in a 13-4 rout of Cincinnati. The 26-year-old answered a two-homer performance in his season debut by keeping the ball in the park in each of his last two outings, although he is walking a fine line with eight free passes in that stretch (10 innings). Joey Votto (13-for-34) and Scooter Gennett (9-for-28) have fared well versus Wacha, who has permitted the Reds' roster to bat .281 against him.

WALK-OFFS

1. St. Louis 1B Jose Martinez went 8-for-16 with five extra-base hits and seven RBIs in the previous series against Cincinnati.

2. Reds 2B Jose Peraza is 3-for-22 in his last six games since collecting three hits in the series opener versus the Cardinals on April 12.

3. St. Louis OF Dexter Fowler is 0-for-12 with six strikeouts after erupting for five hits and four runs scored in the first two meetings with Cincinnati.

PREDICTION: Cardinals 7, Reds 2
Stats and Records
Team Comparison
  W/L Strk Home Away East Central West IL
Cincinnati 3-15 L2 1-7 2-8 0-6 3-9 0-0 0-0
St. Louis 10-7 W5 2-4 8-3 1-2 8-3 1-2 0-0
Last Meeting
Cincinnati St. Louis
Date Away Home Avg HR OPS Avg HR OPS
4/15/18 STL 3 CIN 2 .161 2 .717 .172 1 .536
Player Stats
Season Series
Batting Player Avg Hits OPS
Cincinnati S. Gennett .312 5 .625
St. Louis J. Martinez .500 8 1.516
Offense Player HR Runs RBI
Cincinnati B. Hamilton 1 4 1
St. Louis G. Garcia 2 5 3
Pitching ERA Avg K
Cincinnati 6.75 .200 32
St. Louis 2.25 .281 41
Season
Batting Player Avg Hits OPS
Cincinnati T. Barnhart .277 13 .882
St. Louis J. Martinez .339 20 .988
Offense Player HR Runs RBI
Cincinnati A. Duvall 3 4 9
St. Louis P. DeJong 5 9 7
Pitching ERA Avg K
Cincinnati 5.42 .220 135
St. Louis 3.22 .244 154