June 28: Cardinals (44-37) @ Dodgers (45-37)

Jenifer Langosch/MLB.com

wpid-img_20140628_124554937.jpgThe Cardinals begin their second slate of 81 games later today after reaching the midway point of the season with win No. 44 on Friday night. In case you missed it, here is a rundown of some first-half numbers and how they compare with the pennant-winning club of 2013. The improvement on the defensive side is particularly staggering.

This has been a pitching-and-defense dominated series )five total runs) to this point and today may be no different. Lance Lynn has a 2.50 ERA in three career starts at Dodger stadium, a 2.57 road ERA in 2014 and has not allowed more than two runs in any of his last four starts. He shut out the Rockies over eight innings at Coors Field his last time out.

Zack Greinke goes for the Dodgers and is trying to get to a 10-win mark already reached by National League pitchers Adam Wainwright and Alfredo Simon (Reds). Including two postseason starts last year, Greinke is 4-0 with a 1.83 ERA in five games against the Cardinals since 2012.

Matt Holliday (11-for-32), Matt Carpenter (5-for-13) and Yadier Molina (9-for-28) have all had some success against him. Jhonny Peralta is 11-for-47 against Greinke but out of the starting lineup today. Peralta extended his hitting streak to eight games with a game-winning, two-run double on Friday. Daniel Descalso takes his place at short.

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