Home/Road Pitching Splits Favor Cardinals Over Diamondbacks

michael wacha

Matthew Jordan

Friday, April 6, 2018 12:07 PM GMT

Friday, Apr. 6, 2018 12:07 PM GMT

After a very rare Friday off, the Cardinals and Diamondbacks resume their three-game series Saturday afternoon (2:15 ET) in baseball-crazy (and perhaps snowy) St. Louis.

Arizona Diamondbacks (6-1, 3-4 O/U) at St. Louis Cardinals (3-4, 3-4 O/U)Free MLB Pick: Cardinals (& Under)Best Line Offered: BetOnline

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It’s game No. 2 of a three-game set on Saturday afternoon (2:15 ET) from Busch Stadium as the Cardinals host the Diamondbacks with possible snow in the forecast. Both teams come off a very unusual Friday off – you won’t see teams get a single Friday off the rest of the regular season for the most part, barring a postponement. But these early-season schedules are a bit wacky.

These teams have two things in common.

First, neither club will likely win its respective division but should contend for the NL’s two wild-card spots. Of course, the Snakes finished second in the NL West to the Dodgers last season and beat Colorado in the wild-card game before being swept by L.A. in the NLDS. St. Louis finished third in the NL Central behind the Cubs and Brewers, with the Cardinals missing the postseason for a second year in a row for the first time since 2007-08.

Second, both starting third basemen are on the DL. Arizona put Jake Lamb there Tuesday with an AC sprain in his left shoulder, suffered in Monday night’s marathon game vs. the Dodgers. Lamb was hurt on a diving catch in the ninth inning but stayed in and scored the winning run in the 15th on a headfirst slide but was clearly in pain. Lamb set career highs with 30 homers and 105 RBIs last year (WAR of 1.4). He was 5-for-18 with five RBIs this season. Deven Marrero/Daniel Descalso likely will split duties there.

The Cardinals put Jedd Gyorko on Tuesday after he strained his right hamstring on Monday. Gyorko batted .272 with 20 home runs and 67 RBIs last season but missed 17 games in September because of the same injury. Matt Carpenter should be his main replacement.

Arizona won the series opener 3-1 on Thursday behind a great outing from Robbie Ray, as he and the bullpen held the Cards to just two hits. The Diamondbacks improved to 6-1 for the second straight season and tied a franchise record for its best seven-game start.

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Probable Pitchers: Greinke vs. Wacha

The Snakes start ace Zack Greinke. The right-hander had some groin tightness in spring training that set him back slightly so he didn’t start Opening Day as he normally would but last Saturday at home vs. Colorado and allowed one run and five hits with nine strikeouts and no walks in 5.2 innings in a no-decision. He threw 59 of 83 pitches for strikes, including first-pitch strikes to 16 of 22 batters he faced. Greinke was only touched up by a Charlie Blackmon solo homer. Greinke topped out at 93 mph.

Even though Chase Field is a hitters’ park, Greinke was much better there (13-1, 2.87) than on the road (4-6, 3.65 ERA) last year. Greinke faced the Cards once, at Busch Stadium, and got a victory in allowing a run with nine strikeouts over seven innings. Carpenter hits Greinke well, going 8-for-24 with two homers. Dexter Fowler definitely does not, going 2-for-21 with 11 strikeouts.

St. Louis right-hander Michael Wacha was originally to pitch Thursday’s series opener, but the club activated Adam Wainwright off the DL and started him, pushing Wacha back to here. Wacha wasn’t great in a loss at the Mets last Saturday, surrendering four runs (two homers) and five hits over 4.2 innings and throwing just 52 of 95 pitches for strikes. That’s unusual, as are the two homers. Wacha has a career rate of 0.8 HR/9.

Wacha shut out the Snakes on three hits over six innings in his lone start against them last year. Arizona’s A.J. Pollock is 3-for-7 career off Wacha. Paul Goldschmidt is 1-for-9 with five strikeouts.

  • Diamondbacks are 3-7 in their last 10 road games.
  • Cardinals are 11-3 in Wacha’s last 14 starts during game 2 of a series.
  • Diamondbacks are 9-20 in the last 29 meetings.

Like the Cardinals for a Saturday MLB pick here. Wacha was much better at home in 2017 (8-4, 3.41 ERA), and we noted that Greinke wasn’t as strong on the road. Also a lean to the ‘under.’

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