The San Diego Padres will take on the St. Louis Cardinals for a four-game set at Busch Stadium. The Padres are currently soaring high as they are coming off sweeping the San Francisco Giants.
The Cardinals are actually coming off losing two out of three games from the Miami Marlins. In terms of overall performance, the Cards have really had a pretty average season. They currently sit in second place in the N.L. Central with a 47-44 record. You might be thinking that isn’t too bad. Well it actually is. They are currently eight games out of first and their best case scenario is currently a second place wild card spot.
The teams did face each other earlier in this season. The Cardinals would take two out of the three games. That series would come down to serious bullpen struggles. In fact the bullpen would allow 10 runs in one of those games. Luckily since then the pen has really picked it up for the Padres. We shouldn’t see any blunders like that in this series. Four game series are always really tough. So I really don’t expect the Padres to take this series. I actually see a series draw as a more probable result.
These pitching matchups definitely heavily favor the Cardinals. Even so it is still possible for the Pads to sneak in a couple of wins in this series. Christian Friedrich will be the first to go in this series for the Padres. He has been pretty inconsistent this year. Friedrich started off looking pretty solid but then turned out to be pretty average as of late. In fact over his last three starts he has posted an ERA of 7.20. Friedrich has definitely had struggles as of late and needs to rectify that. However he is still capable of delivering a nice start any day of the week. The Cardinals will have San Diego native, Mike Leake on the mound. Leake has been pretty average this season with an ERA of 4.14. Leake had an amazing start his last time out. He would only allow a run and strike out 10 in seven innings of work against the Milwaukee Brewers. Leake did pitch in the series between these two teams earlier in the season. He would not look so sharp as he would allow five runs in five innings. So really game one of this series can go either way. Both of these pitchers are definitely capable of pitching a nice game. Both are also capable of pitching a disastrous game, so we’ll have to see how it goes.
I think game two of this series should give us quite a nice pitching matchup. The Padres will have another inconsistent factor going in Colin Rea. He would not look good in his last start as Rea would only go four and two-thirds and allow four earned runs on eight hits. His start before that would be very nice. Rea would only allow one earned run over six innings against the Yankees. As you can see two very distinctly different starts. I believe Rea will have one of his nice starts this Tuesday at Busch Stadium. He will have a tough opponent in Carlos Martinez. “Tsunami” has proved to be the Cardinals best pitcher this season. He currently holds an 8-6 record with an ERA of 2.85. In his last five stars Martinez has managed to hold an ERA of 2.00. So even if Colin Rea is to have a nice start, I cannot see the Friars taking this game.
Game three will bring a matchup that I can see the Padres winning. Andrew Cashner will be on the mound for the Friars. Like anyone else on this staff Cashner has also been inconsistent. But the thing is Cashner is coming off an amazing start against the Giants. Cashner would only allow a run on four hits in six innings of work. He would also strike out a season high nine batters. If Andrew Cashner can stay consistent with that performance he will definitely lead the Padres to victory on Wednesday. The Padres will have a decently tough opponent in Mexican pitcher, Jaime Garcia. The lefty hasn’t been all that great this season with a 4.11 ERA in 18 starts. Garcia has not faced the Padres yet this season. However, Garcia does have a pretty nice history against the Friars. In five starts against the Padres Garcia has managed to hold an ERA of 2.70. This should be a pretty nice matchup to see as well. I see Cashner staying consistent and taking the third game of the series.
The last game of the series brings us another very nice matchup as well. On paper it looks to be a complete mismatch. Luis Perdomo up against Adam Wainwright. In reality though, it should turn out to be a very nice game. Luis Perdomo will be on the hill after an okay start against the Giants, he would only go four and two-thirds and allow three earned runs. Despite this Perdomo has been getting better since becoming a starter for the Padres. The Padres have found ways to win when Perdomo is on the mound. Overall the Padres are now 5-3 when Luis is starting the game. The Padres could definitely find a way to win Thursday’s game. It won’t be easy as they will need to get past Adam Wainwright. The staff ace has been a very solid pitcher over the years. This year hasn’t been his best as he has posted an ERA of 4.15 this season. The thing is that Wainwright would start off the unofficial second half in amazing fashion. On Saturday against the Marlins, Waino would throw a three hit shutout. So while the Padres do have a chance in this game. They could be in for quite a tough challenge to get that W.
Players to Watch
Aledmys Diaz has quietly become one of the best shortstops in baseball. He is just 25 years old and is in his first season in the major leagues. The name might sound familiar as you probably saw him in the All Star Game. Now Diaz did not have a nice All Star Game. He actually had the most infamous moment of the whole game. He would strike out with the bases loaded in the eighth inning of the game. Despite this Diaz is having an amazing campaign. He is currently giving Corey Seager a run for his money in the N.L. ROY voting. Diaz has killed it with a BA of .313, 13 dingers and 48 RBI. Aledmys is currently one of the best young talents in the game. Definitely a player to look out for in this series.
Matt Holliday has had an okay season. He really hasn’t been spectacular but he’s been alright. In terms of home runs he has been quite good with 16 on the year. In terms of RBI he has also been very productive with 53 on the year. But then we get into the BA and he has been quite average with a .244 BA on the season. Even so it is still impressive that Holliday can post up numbers like that at age 36. Before joining the Cardinals Holliday did spend a lot of time with the Colorado Rockies, so he is more than familiar with the Padres. He has been quite successful in his career against the Friars. In 118 games Holliday has posted an OPS of .861 against the Padres. He has also blasted 17 home runs and has had a nice BA of .282. Holliday has definitely proved to be a menace to the Padres over the Years. I expect Holliday to have it no different in this series.
Schimpf is coming off a spectacular series against the San Francisco Giants. He would go 4-6 in the series with three RBI. Among the hits he would manage to hit a home run and a triple in the mix as well. Schimpf has shown to be a nice player to have on the team. He has shown quite a few moments of greatness already in the season. With this being four-game set, Schmipf will definitely see some action throughout the series. Keep an eye on the little guy as he can prove to be a factor in this series. If he stumbles, Carlos Asuaje is waiting in triple-A for his chance at the second base job.
Wil Myers vs Adam Wainwright
These two have only faced each other twice in the course of their careers. Even more oddly their encounter came in this season. Wil Myers would get the absolute best of this matchup. Myers would get two hits in two at bats against Wainwright. While this might not sound too special one of those hits would actually be a home run. The Home Run Derby hasn’t seemed to taken a toll on Myers. He has already managed to hit a home run since the All Star Break. It’ll definitely be interesting to see how this matchup goes this time around at Busch Stadium. It’ll also be interesting to see how this series goes overall. One thing is for sure, I don’t see our bullpen giving up 10 runs in a game again.