Jaime Garcia (1-3, 2.67 ERA) takes the hill for the St. Louis Cardinals (39-21) as they square off against Yordano Ventura (3-5, 4.62 ERA) and the Kansas City Royals (34-23) in the first of a three-game series at Busch Stadium. Action begins at 8:15 p.m. ET on Friday, Jun. 12 and can be seen on FSN-KC, FSN-MW and MLB Net.

Garcia is 0-1 with an 8.31 ERA in his appearances against the Royals, and goes up against a good Kansas City offense which is batting .269 this season. Matt Carpenter (.297, 39 Rs, 8 HRs, 31 RBIs, 1 SB) had another good game Wednesday, going 2 for 5 with one run and one RBI. Ventura is 1-1 with a 4.15 ERA against the Cardinals in his career. He takes on a quality St. Louis offense that's batting .262. Eric Hosmer (.300, 33 Rs, 7 HRs, 36 RBIs, 3 SBs) went 1 for 4 Wednesday with one run and one RBI.

The odds for St. Louis and Kansas City are even, while the Over/Under (O/U) is currently unavailable. In interleague play, the Cardinals have a 4-5 record SU. The Cardinals have seen a decline in scoring against teams in the AL, averaging 3.0 runs per game. They average 4.0 runs per game on the season. St. Louis is one of the best in the NL in terms of walks, earning an average of 3.1 per game. Crossing over to the pitching staff, opposing offenses that come to Busch Stadium have been stifled by the Cardinals, who have a team ERA of only 2.52 at home.

Kansas City is 5-2 SU against interleague opponents. Offensively, the Royals have really sputtered in the last 10 games. They have decreased their season average of 4.4 runs per game by averaging 2.6 during that stretch. The Royals are tough outs for opponents, leading the AL with 9.8 hits per road game. Kansas City is excellent at not striking out with an AL-low 5.9 per game. Moving on to Kansas City's pitching staff and defense, the The Royals allow just 3.5 runs per game, ranking them second in the AL. When it comes to preventing batters from getting on base, the Royals are one of the best in the league with a WHIP of 1.20 for the season.

The Royals lead the season series, 2-1. The Cardinals have a great 19-4 record at home (32-14 overall) against right-handed starting pitchers, which is what they'll be facing when Ventura takes the mound. Garcia (LHP) will be on the hill against the Royals, who have a 10-7 record against left-handed starting pitchers.

Predictions: SU Winner - KC


Kansas City has won 70% (16-7) of its games when leading after 7 innings. However, St. Louis has won 70% (14-6) of its games when taking a late lead.

The Cardinals are coming into this game after allowing one walk during their last outing. The Royals have a 9-11 record when opponents give up that many walks or fewer.

When they are outhit, the Royals are 2-18. The Cardinals have a 9-14 record when opponents outhit them.

Both falling near the bottom of the league based on total home runs this season, St. Louis ranks 24th with 46 homers and Kansas City is 27th with 43.

St. Louis and Kansas City both rank in the top five of the league in hits. St. Louis sits at fifth with 8.90 hits per game and Kansas City ranks second with 9.18.

Ranking 13th, St. Louis is in the top half of the league for its on-base plus slugging percentage (.718). Kansas City ranks in the top 10 at eighth with an OPS of .725.

The Royals are 15-16 in games where they allow one or more home runs. The Cardinals are 16-14 when they allow at least one homer.