Pitching has dominated the series in St. Louis so far, and the Cardinals head to the deciding third game as solid favorites behind Jaime Garcia to beat the San Francisco Giants.
There was no life in the bats belonging to the St. Louis Cardinals on Tuesday, and the San Francisco Giants had just enough to square the series heading into tonight's tilt.
San Francisco grabbed a two-zip triumph last night behind Ryan Vogelsong and the bullpen, but it's the Cardinals getting the respect from the sports books on Wednesday. The 7:15 PM (ET) start finds Jaime Garcia on the hill for St. Louis, Matt Cain going for the Giants. BetOnline has the Cards -159 on the moneyline, the MLB odds board also sporting a 7 run total for a third consecutive matchup.
Cain Facing Redbirds for 1st Time In More Than 2 Years
After missing the first three months of the season due to a strained flexor tendon in his right arm, Cain has struggled for the most part since rejoining the rotation in early-July. Only two of his eight assignments have gone into the quality start column, and Cain has been hit pretty hard the last four times out, San Francisco winning just one of those games. During the tough stretch, he has pitched less than 20 innings total while allowing 18 earned runs, the Giants losing three of his five road starts while Cain pitched to a 6.84 ERA.
This is his first start against the Cardinals struggled since June 2013, and they roughed Cain up twice that season scoring 16 runs in less than 10 innings combined in the two starts. Matt Carpenter is likely licking his chops to get at a Cain offering, the St. Louis third sacker collecting seven hits in his 10 previous at bats against the San Francisco hurler.
St. Louis has won each of Garcia's last three trips to the hill, the oft-injured southpaw surrendering just one earned run over a span of 20+ innings. Six of his 11 starts on the campaign have come at home where Garcia sports a 1.79 ERA to help the Cardinals to four victories. He has been sharp against the Giants, Wednesday's matchup his sixth vs. San Francisco with the Cards 4-1 in the previous five and Garcia owning a 1.78 ERA in 35+ IP.
Umpire Notes, Mother Nature & a Free Pick
Mike Everitt should call balls and strikes to wrap up this series for the umpire crew. A veteran of more than 570 regular season plate assignments, and 10 more in the postseason, Everitt is dead-level this year on the totals with a 10-10-2 mark, his last three going 'over' the MLB odds. It's his first appearance at Busch Stadium since May 2014 when he called a 6-5 Giants win over the Cardinals. Home teams are running 14-8 in 2015, 10-5 when carrying the chalk.
The rain that delayed the start of Tuesday's game is supposed to clear out by this evening, leaving behind cooler but muggier conditions. My free baseball pick will be a run-line play on the Redbirds.
MLB Pick: Cardinals -1½ (+130) at BetOnline