The first half has been a tumultuous one for the St. Louis Cardinals, but with a win over the Miami Marlins on Sunday, St. Louis can enter the All-Star break six games over .500 and well within striking distance of the first place Pittsburgh Pirates. Standing in their way are the Miami Marlins, who are limping into the break without star right fielder Giancarlo Stanton.
On Sunday the Cardinals will hand the ball to starter Joe Kelly, who in three home starts this season has posted a 2.93 ERA. But all is not what it may seem: Kelly has been able to prevent runs, but he's also allowed 25 baserunners in those innings. On the season, opponents are batting .297 against him, and that will need to come down if he wants to keep his run prevention down in the future.
The Marlins are countering with Anibal Sanchez, who, after a sizzling April and May, endured a rough June that saw him post a 7.06 ERA. July didn't start any better for him, as he gave up five earned runs in five innings to the Milwaukee Brewers in his last start.
Game date/time: Sunday, July 8, 1:15 p.m. CT
Location: Busch Stadium, St. Louis, Mo.
TV: FSN Midwest
For updates, stay tuned to SB Nation St. Louis. For more in-depth coverage of this series, check out Cardinals blog Viva El Birdos and Marlins blog Fish Stripes. News and notes from around Major League Baseball can be found at Baseball Nation.