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Padres vs. Cardinals series preview

Padres hope to keep their winning streak going

MLB: San Diego Padres at Baltimore Orioles Mitch Stringer-USA TODAY Sports

The Padres start a 3 game series against the St. Luis Cardinals on Friday night. San Diego is returning home after sweeping the Baltimore Orioles. Now sitting at .500 on the season, the Padres look to continue their hot streak at the plate.

Coming to San Diego 1-game over .500 the St. Luis Cardinals are only two games back in the wild card race. Unfortunately for them they are battling it out in the National League Central against the strong looking Chicago Cubs and Milwaukee Brewers.

Pitching match ups

Michael Wacha 5-3 5.59 ERA vs. Eric Lauer 5-7 4.32 ERA

Dakota Hudson 6-3 3.36 ERA vs. Chris Paddack 4-4 3.18 ERA

TBD vs. Joey Lucchesi 6-4 3.95 ERA

Hitters to watch

Manny Machado 13/31 3 HR 9 RBI .419 BA last 7 games

Fernando Tatis Jr 8/26 1 HR 5 RBI 3 SB .308 BA last 7 games

Paul Goldschmidt 6/26 1 HR 2 RBI .231 BA last 7 games

Marcell Ozuna 8/28 2 HR 6 RBI .286 BA last 7 games

What to expect:

The Padres are coming off a much needed two game sweep of the Orioles. They managed to rack up 18 runs, while only giving up 8. After a rough stretch, those two wins could not have come at a better time for the Padres. Now at .500 on the season and a day of rest under their belt, they return home to face the St. Luis Cardinals, who have also been having a rough go of things, dropping their last 3 in a row. The Padres need their, still struggling, pitching staff to take some heat off their offense, and reach deep into the game and give the bullpen a little break. Without the help from the starting pitchers the Padres can only bank on their booming offense for so long.

Manny Machado is coming off a stellar plate performance in Baltimore, and I expect him to stay hot throughout this series. While Machado brings power to the plate, Fernando Tatis Jr. has been one of the most consistent Padres at getting on base. With his on base hitting and aggressive base running I wouldn’t be surprised to see Tatis Jr. put up a lot of runs this weekend. When those two are on, everything else seems to fall into place for the Padres. We will be looking to see Tatis Jr. driven home by the RBI team leader Eric Hosmer or the big swings that come from Franmil Reyes and Hunter Renfroe.

The St. Luis Cardinals might not be at the top of their game, as they have some troubles in the pitching department as well. So, if we can get some depth out of our starting pitchers and continue to stay hot at the plate; this series presents a great opportunity for the Padres to get comfortably back over .500 and edge closer to a wild card position.