John Lackey (9-7, 2.91 ERA) and Brad Hand (2-2, 4.29 ERA) take the hill in the second of a three-game series between the St. Louis Cardinals (74-41) and the Miami Marlins (46-69) at Busch Stadium. The Cardinals won the last game 3-1 and St. Louis leads the series 1-0. Action begins at 7:15 p.m. ET on Saturday, Aug. 15 and can be seen on FSFL and FSMW.
Lackey pitched 6.0 innings in his last outing, surrendering three runs, striking out three and walking two in a 5-4 defeat to the Brewers. Randal Grichuk (.285, 45 Rs, 14 HRs, 43 RBIs, 4 SBs) continued his strong play yesterday, going 2 for 3 with one run. Hand went 7.0 innings, surrendering one run, striking out three and walking two in a 4-1 win over the Braves in his most recent start. Justin Bour (.250, 21 Rs, 10 HRs, 33 RBIs) went 1 for 4 yesterday with one run.
The odds for St. Louis and Miami are even, while the Over/Under (O/U) is unavailable as of now. St. Louis's batters do not strike out very often at home, with only 6.9 per game. Turning to the pitchers, opposing offenses have been stifled by the Cardinals, who have a team ERA of only 2.64.
Offensively, the Marlins have really picked up the pace in the last 10 games. They have exceeded their season average of 3.7 runs per game by averaging 4.9 during that stretch. The Marlins have a dynamic offense, leading the league with 267 extra base hits. The Marlins are an excellent base stealing team with 78 stolen bases, ranking fourth in the MLB. The Marlins allow 4.1 runs per game, but have damaged those numbers in the past 10 games, allowing 6.0 runs per game during that span.
The Cardinals have the edge in the season series, 4-0. The Cardinals have a great 35-9 record at home (57-26 overall) against right-handed starting pitchers, which is what they'll be facing when Hand takes the mound. Lackey (RHP) will be on the hill against the Marlins, who have a 36-54 record against right-handed starting pitchers.
Predictions: SU Winner - StL
When leading after 7 innings, St. Louis is 24-14, while Miami is 23-38.
Having scored one run in their last game, the Marlins are going to have to up their game if they want to win this matchup. The Cardinals have a 36-2 record in games where opponents scored that many runs or fewer.
When they outhit their opponents, the Marlins are 33-19. The Cardinals have a 46-14 record when outhitting opponents.
Ranking 30th, Miami sits at the bottom of the league in runs, scoring 420 this season. St. Louis ranks in the bottom half at 19th with 456.
Ranking 25th, Miami is near the bottom of the league in walks, notching 277 this season. St. Louis ranks in the top 10 at eighth with 348.
When the Cardinals hit at least one home run, they are 46-19. When the Marlins hit at least one homer, they have a 28-33 record.