Miles Mikolas (7-1 with a 2.27 ERA) takes the mound Tuesday night as the St. Louis Cardinals seek their fifth win in six games and second in this series after Monday's 5-2 victory.The Cards are currently 2 1/2 games behind the NL Central-leading Cubs and 1/2 game behind the Atlanta Braves in the race for the second wild-card spot in the National League.
Mikolas has been truly fantastic so far this season, especially at Busch Stadium, where he's posted a 4-1 record with a stellar 1.28 ERA in six starts.The 29-year-old right-hander has allowed two or fewer runs in nine of his previous 12 outings and lasted at least six innings in ten of them.In his last start, on June 7, Mikolas yielded 3 hits and one unearned run with one walk and five strikeouts over seven innings in the Cardinals' 4-1 home win against the Marlins.
In addition to that, the fourth-year major-leaguer threw 6 2/3 solid innings in his previous start against the Padres, in which he yielded 1 run on 5 hits and struck out four batters in a 2-1 victory at PETCO Park on May 10.
Mikolas will be opposed by the Padres lefty Matt Strahm (1-2 with a 3.07 ERA), who will take the ball at the start of a Padres bullpen day for the third time this season.The 26-year-old threw only 61 pitches in his previous two starts, as he limited the Dodgers to 2 hits and struck out two batters in two innings of a 1-6 loss in Los Angeles on May 27 and gave up 2 hits and 1 run over 2 2/3 innings in the Padres' 3-1 home win against the Braves last Wednesday.Strahm has never faced the Cardinals or any of their hitters before.
The San Diego Padres were limited to three or fewer runs in five of their last six games (3-3), with a .220 batting average, 14 runs and 4 HR over the span.
I think that the St. Louis Cardinals will manage to win that game with more than one run difference.