The St. Louis Cardinals have the best record in baseball and lead the entire majors in runs scored while posting the sixth best team ERA. It's hard to imagine the start of the post-Albert Pujols era going any better, but a win over the Cincinnati Reds on Wednesday to complete a series sweep would be a nice way to cap the opening of division play.
The Cardinals rode homers from David Freese and Carlos Beltran to a 3-1 victory on Tuesday night, but if anyone is going to throw the water on St. Louis' scorching start, it may righty Johnny Cueto, who will take the hill for the Reds on Sunday. In four starts vs. the Cardinals last season, Cueto posted a 2.60 ERA in 27.2 innings, and though that number is actually higher than his overall ERA for the 2011 season, it's still not one that was beneficial to St. Louis. Cueto was solid, too, in his first start of the season, allowing no earned runs and three hits in seven innings vs. the Miami Marlins.
St. Louis will counter with lefty Jaime Garcia, who was steady but far from spectacular in his first start of the season vs. the Milwaukee Brewers. But in three starts last season vs. the Reds, Garcia dazzled Cincinnati, allowing only three earned runs in 19 innings while striking out 16.
Game date/time: Wednesday, April 11, 11:35 a.m. CT
Location: Great American Ballpark, Cincinnati, Ohio