Tim Cooney (0-0, 11.57 ERA) and the St. Louis Cardinals (51-26) meet Tyson Ross (5-7, 3.57 ERA) and the San Diego Padres (37-43) in the first of a four-game series at Busch Stadium. The game starts at 7:15 p.m. ET on Thursday, Jul. 2 and will air on FSN-SD, FSN-MW and MLB Net.

In his last start, Cooney pitched 2.1 innings, giving up three runs, striking out three and walking one in a 9-3 loss to the Phillies. Jhonny Peralta (.301, 34 Rs, 11 HRs, 41 RBIs, 1 SB) played well again yesterday, going 2 for 4 with one RBI. In his pitching opportunities against the Cardinals, Ross is 1-1 with a 2.40 ERA. He meets a solid St. Louis offense that's batting .263. Yonder Alonso (.310, 22 Rs, 2 HRs, 20 RBIs, 2 SBs) went 1 for 4 yesterday.

St. Louis is a -140 favorite in this game and the Over/Under (O/U) is seven runs. The Cardinals have a winning record of 42-15 when playing as the favorite and an overall money line of +2,084. Over the last 10 games, they have a very good record when playing as the favorite (7-2). The Cardinals are a stellar hitting team with 9.0 hits per home game, one of the highest marks in the NL. They have been very patient at the plate, ranking fifth in the NL with an average of 3.0 walks per game. As for the pitching staff, the Cardinals lead the NL in ERA with a 2.64 team average. The Cardinals are third in the NL in hits allowed with just 8.2 per game. The have been extremely effective at striking opposing batters out, averaging 8.1 strikeouts per game.

Switching gears, the Padres come into this game with a weak win percentage of .390 when playing as the underdog (16-25) and an overall money line of -591.

The Cardinals will take on a right-hander (Ross) in this game. They have done very well against right-handed starting pitchers this season (44-15), especially at home where they have a 26-4 record. The left-handed Cooney will take the mound against the Padres, who have a 9-8 record against lefty starters this season.

Predictions: SU Winner - STL, O/U - Over

Notes

San Diego is 2-5 SU in its last 7 games.

San Diego is 2-4 SU in its last 6 games on the road.

The total has gone OVER in 4 of San Diego's last 6 games when playing St. Louis.

San Diego is 1-4 SU in its last 5 games when playing St. Louis.

The total has gone UNDER in 4 of San Diego's last 6 games when playing on the road against St. Louis.

San Diego is 2-9 SU in its last 11 games when playing on the road against St. Louis.

The total has gone UNDER in 4 of St. Louis's last 6 games when playing at home against San Diego.

When leading after 7 innings, St. Louis is 21-8, while San Diego is 20-17.

Having scored one run in their last game, the Cardinals are going to have to up their game if they want to win this matchup. The Padres have a 9-1 record in games where opponents scored that many runs or fewer.

When they are outhit, the Padres are 6-34. The Cardinals have a 12-18 record when opponents outhit them.

St. Louis ranks near the bottom of the league at 25th when it comes to home runs, hitting 62 this season. San Diego ranks in the bottom half at 20th with 65.

Ranking 13th, San Diego is in the top half of the league in hits, notching 8.24 per game. St. Louis ranks in the top five at fifth with 8.92.

Ranking 27th, San Diego is near the bottom of the league for its on-base plus slugging percentage (.667). St. Louis ranks in the top 10 at 10th with an OPS of .728.

The Padres are 19-31 in games where they allow one or more home runs. The Cardinals are 22-18 when they allow at least one homer.