The St. Louis Cardinals head to Detroit for a critical series against the Detroit Tigers this weekend. Every series and game for the Cardinals is important at this point. They are going to be in a dog fight for the next month, as they hope to find a way into the postseason. The Cards can punch their ticket by catching the Cubs at the top of the NL Central, or the more realistic scenario, is cashing in on a wildcard.
St. Louis are currently in possession of the final wildcard and would be facing the Brewers in a one-game, do-or-die contest. The Cardinals did a nice job of coming all the way back to give themselves a chance of going to the postseason. It isn’t quite as impressive as what the Oakland A’s did, but it looked like this was a lost season after firing Mike Matheny. Matheny made it pretty easy on management to pull the cord on him, as his hold on the team was clearly slipping. The team had too much talent to be playing so inconsistently.
In came Mike Shildt to provide some fresh air in St. Louis. The Rams aren’t in St. Louis anymore, so all of the attention is on the Cardinals’ postseason chase. There are three teams behind the Cards within 5 games. Things are beginning to break up a little bit, though, because that number was 3 not too long ago. The pretenders tend to slip back by mid-September.
I don’t think the Cardinals are pretenders, but they would have their hands full in the postseason. Every team who are in at the moment in the National League have an equal shot. There’s some more separation in the American League with the Red Sox well ahead of the pack. We’ll see if this is a trap series for the Cards in Detroit. The Tigers are coming off two wins, as are the Cards against the Washington Nationals. Head below for our Cardinals vs. Tigers pick.
St. Louis Cardinals vs. Detroit Tigers Pick
Austin Gomber (5-0, 2.77 ERA) vs. Daniel Norris (0-3, 5.49 ERA)
Daniel Norris is trying to get in a rhythm late in the season with the Tigers. He just recently made his first start since April on September 1st. Norris showed some promise in his first full season with the Tigers in 2016, but he was out after making 13 starts. He posted an ERA of 3.38 and looked like he finally found a place to get his career going. Norris was part of the trade that sent David Price to the Blue Jays.
The Tigers also acquired Mike Boyd in the trade. Norris regressed with an ERA of 5.13 in 18 starts a season ago. Yet again, he ran into injuries to derail a potential fulltime job in the starting rotation. We’ll see if he survives by the end of September. Norris was sharp against the Yankees in his first game back, allowing just 1 hit and 2 runs across 4.1 innings. He was not doing so well before going on the disabled list, though. Norris doesn’t have a win thus far, as he heads into Friday with a record of 0-3.
Conversely, Austin Gomber has been flawless with a record of 5-0. He was primarily used in the bullpen, before the Cardinals converted him to a fulltime member of the starting rotation. It’s worked out pretty well for the Cards, as they seek their seventh win in a row with Gomber on the bump. He hasn’t allowed more than 2 runs in five straight starts, which included some good offenses like the Nationals, Dodgers, and Rockies. He wasn’t taking advantage of bad offenses. With a tally of 3.93 runs per game and 25th in the majors, the Tigers would be considered a bad offense. The Cardinals avoid a trap and dispatch the Tigers on Friday at Comerica Park.