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Series preview: Cardinals vs. Reds

The Cardinals come home after a disastrous road trip to take on the last team they've beaten in a series: The Reds.

The Birds are 10-5 against Cincinnati this season. But that was before the team decided to call it a season and take August and September off.

The Cardinals have lined up their top three starters for the series:

Jaime Garcia (12-6, 2.33) will take on Bronson Arroyo (14-8, 3.82) in the opener. Garcia's last three starts include a complete game shutout and a shaky 5 1/3 inning performance his last time out in which he managed to keep a runner from denting the plate even though he gave up 12 baserunners. Arroyo is 7-10 with a 4.58 ERA in his career against the Cardinals.

Adam Wainwright (17-9, 2.30) takes on Travis Wood (4-2, 3.53) in the middle game. Wainwright seems like he may be getting a bit worn down lately with an 0-3 record with a 5.21 ERA in his last three starts. But he remains a strong contender for the Cy Young Award. Wood will make his first appearance against the Cardinals. He's 1-1 with a 6.46 ERA in his last three starts.

Chris Carpenter (14-5, 2.92) starts the finale against Homer Bailey (3-2, 4.92). Despite putting together a 2.66 ERA in his last three starts but he's only got a 1-1 record to show for it. Bailey's 1-3 with a 6.04 ERA in his career against the Cardinals.

Hopefully the Cardinals will continue to fare well against Reds pitching -- and be motivated by the their feud with Dusty Baker and Brandon Phillips. Because the offense basically has done nothing since St. Louis last played Cincinnati.