The St. Louis Cardinals suffered another setback in Detroit on Saturday, as they fell again for their second loss in a row against the Tigers. Not a good look for a team in the wildcard race. Things are bunched up and it’s not going to take a lot to slip out of the picture. The Phillies, Diamondbacks, and Dodgers are the first teams out and all are in contention to get a wildcard. The Tigers are playing for absolutely nothing, but there are some young pieces in Detroit that are trying to impress management for the future. The Cardinals made it interesting last night late, but it wasn’t enough in a 4-3 Detroit victory.
The Tigers traded with the Cubs for Jeimer Candelario and look like they’re going to be the winners of that trade. Candelario hit one of the most impressive long balls of the season in the majors, with an opposite field shot of a fastball traveling just over 102 mph. It was a clutch hit as well, with the 2-run home run giving the Tigers the win on Friday night.
That takes a tremendous amount of strength to send a ball travelling over 100 mph the opposite way. The dinger was the fastest thrown pitch to go over the fence in 2018. In spite of that, there are of course plenty of holes to patch up over the next few seasons in Detroit. Castellanos is the only hitter that is really in his prime right now. Candelario still has time to grow.
The bullpen which must improve, showed up last night at Comerica, though. Matt Boyd pitched a great game with only 2 hits and 1 run allowed across 7 innings of work. The Tigers are scheduled to go with Michael Fulmer on Sunday, while the Cardinals hope to avoid a sweep with John Gant on the bump. Head below for our free Cardinals vs. Tigers pick.
St. Louis Cardinals vs. Detroit Tigers Pick
John Gant (6-5, 3.19 ERA) vs. Michael Fulmer (3-10, 4.57 ERA)
Michael Fulmer was a name floated around at the trade deadline, but the Tigers ultimately kept him in Detroit. If they received a good offer, I’m sure they would have been open to it. There is a price tag on everyone. Fulmer has been all over the place in 2018. He’s looked like an elite pitcher at times, and in other starts he looks like a gas can who belongs in the bullpen. Fulmer got off to a torrid pace as a rookie in 2016 but he eventually regressed to his average.
Case in point, he allowed just 1 hit and 1 run in his last outing against the White Sox, but prior to that, he gave up 8 hits and 7 runs to the Royals. That’s the second time in his last four starts that he’s given up 7 runs. Fulmer has settled in with an ERA of 4.57 and 1.30 WHIP in 126 innings. This will be the first time he faces the Cardinals in his career.
John Gant has been one of the hottest pitchers in baseball. He will try and save the Cardinals from getting swept by the lowly Tigers. Gant has been on fire with an ERA of 0.53 in his previous three outings. He has allowed just 8 hits and 1 run in 17 innings. He did that against some decent teams as well, including the Rockies, Pirates, and Nationals. The most impressive was holding the Rockies to only 1 run in Colorado. It can happen, but it’s hard to envision the Cardinals getting swept by the Tigers. I expect them to preserve this series with a win on Sunday and avoid total embarrassment.