It’s crunch time for the Cardinals in St. Louis. They’ve done a decent enough job to give themselves a chance to reach the postseason, and now they must get hot down the stretch. A 4-game gap is doable but they can’t go sideways the rest of the way. There are four teams they are going to need to overcome, including the Rockies, Dodgers, Diamondbacks, and Braves who are all ahead of them. The Braves are currently up by half a game over the D-Backs and Dodgers.
They are deadlocked at 62-51 in the standings. The Dodgers needed a win to avoid getting swept by the Astros and they got it. They may have thought the Diamondbacks were just going to fade away and they’d take the division over. However, Arizona have been like a pesky fly that they can’t get rid of. Sometimes the fly gets killed, and other times it gets away. It’s going to be an interesting finish in the NL West, with the Dodgers having more to lose than the Diamondbacks.
We will see if the Cards can creep up and steal one in the wildcard race. It won’t be easy but a solid three-game series against the Marlins would help. After that, they play another losing team in the Royals. It gets awfully tricky after that, as they have meetings with the Nationals, Brewers, Dodgers, and Rockies. With that said, the Cardinals might want to consider playing well against the teams they should beat. Those four aren’t of the auto-win variety. All of them are jockeying for position so they’re all going to want to win. Luke Weaver will get the nod tonight, while Wei-Yin Chen gets the start at home for the Marlins. Head below for our free Cardinals vs. Marlins pick.
St. Louis Cardinals vs. Miami Marlins Pick
Luke Weaver (6-9, 4.75 ERA) vs. Wei-Yin Chen (3-8, 5.86 ERA)
The Cards have played hot and cold baseball all season long. It’s been some good and some bad in St. Louis. That’s what makes this season so frustrating for Cardinals fans. They’ve shown that they have the ability to play solid baseball, but it’s been difficult for them to build on anything. In any event, it’s do-or-die time in St. Louis. Sweeping the Marlins would help them out greatly, especially given the schedule I noted above. Head into the teeth of that schedule down 6 or 6.5 down for a wildcard and it could be goodnight time for the Cards.
Weaver enters with an ERA of 4.75 and 4.97 ERA in his last three starts. That number would look a lot better if he got through his last start. He was bounced after allowing 2 runs in 2.2 innings against the Rockies. His was averaging 27.8 pitches per inning, a much different picture from his start before that against the Cubs. Weaver flew through the Cubs lineup in 13.5 pitches per inning pitched. He gave up 2 runs in 6 innings of work.
In his previous seven innings pitched, Weaver has given up more than 3 runs on just one occasion. Weaver has been slightly better on the road with an ERA of 4.43 compared to 5.13 at home. Wei-Yin Chen has been a liability for the Marlins this season. He has just 1 win in his previous seven starts. Not helping has been the offense who are averaging just 3.79 runs per game for 28th in the majors.
They’ve scored just 3 runs per game in their last six games, which resulted in six losses. The Cardinals seem to like playing in Miami, where they are 9-2 in their last eleven trips here. If the Cards can’t come out of Miami with at least two wins, good luck making it up over the next month against some quality competition. Nevertheless, they are likely to score a win against Chen and the Marlins on Monday evening.