The hottest team in baseball will look for more in Denver on Saturday. After holding on for a 7-5 victory Friday night, the Cards head back out to try and make the Cubs and the rest of the wildcard hopefuls sweat a little harder. The Cubs fended off the Reds for a 3-2 win in extras last night, so everything remains the same in the NL Central.
The Phillies, Brewers, Cardinals, and Rockies are all within 1.5 games of one another. Another win for the red-hot Cards last night puts them at 72-57, while the Rockies fall to 70-58. The Rockies have been playing good baseball as well lately, it’s just that the Cards haven’t gone anywhere. The Rockies are 10-3 in their last thirteen games, while the Cards have gone 14-2 in their last sixteen.
The Cardinals had yesterday off, so it was an opportunity for the Cubs to extend their lead in the division. Cole Hamels looked like vintage Hamels again yesterday, as they defeated the Reds on Thursday. The Cubs won again yesterday, so the Cards had to win to keep everything close.
The Rockies made it interesting with a lately rally but came up short in the 9th. The 4 runs allowed in the 2nd inning were the difference in the contest. St. Louis has had a quality looking team on paper all season long, but it took them a while to find their rhythm on offense. Now that they’ve found it, the Cards haven’t been letting up. John Gant is scheduled to get the start for St. Louis on Saturday. He’s been a fine option for the Cardinals in his third season. German Marquez will counter for the Rockies. Get our free Cardinals vs. Rockies pick and writeup below, for what is another important matchup Saturday at Coors Field.
St. Louis Cardinals vs. Colorado Rockies Pick
John Gant (5-5, 3.76 ERA) vs. German Marquez (11-9, 4.42 ERA)
The Cardinals have gotten about as much production out of Gant as they’ve hoped for in 2018. He hasn’t been perfect or an ace by any means, but he’s given the Cards’ rotation a nice lift. Gant started this season primarily in the bullpen and his positive effort has translated as a starter as well. He was used more so as a spot starter earlier this season and has since been a full-time member of the rotation.
Gant enters with a rock solid ERA of 2.30 with a 0.96 WHIP and .246 OBA in his last three starts. Since joining the rotation as a full-time pitcher, Gant has allowed 2 or less runs in four of five outings. I think the Rockies offense, albeit they played decent enough last week, are going to have to be better Saturday.
German Marquez has had his moments, but most of those moments haven’t come in Denver at Coors Field. There have been plenty of pitchers that have come through the Rockies organization who do not like pitching at Coors. Marquez has been one of them in 2018.
What has been a solid production on the road with an ERA of 2.89 this year, has been anything but at home. Marquez owns an ERA of 6.42, 1.74 WHIP, and .379 OBA in Colorado. He was lucky to get out of his last outing with only 3 runs allowed. Marquez allowed 10 hits and 2 walks to Pirates in 6 innings, but was able to work his way out of trouble. With a hot Cardinals’ offense on the other side today, I don’t see him pulling that off again. It’s not a bad bet taking the Cardinals as underdogs against Marquez on Saturday.