Carlos Martinez (9-3, 2.80 ERA) takes the mound for the St. Louis Cardinals (51-28) as they go up against Odrisamer Despaigne (3-6, 4.94 ERA) and the San Diego Padres (39-43) in the third of a four-game series at Busch Stadium. The Padres won the last game 2-1 and San Diego leads the series 2-0. The game starts at 2:15 p.m. ET on Saturday, Jul. 4 and will air on FSN-SD and FSN-MW.
Martinez has a 16.20 ERA and a 0-0 record in his career against the Padres, but faces a less-than-stellar San Diego offense that's hitting just .240 on the year. Jhonny Peralta (.301, 34 Rs, 11 HRs, 41 RBIs, 1 SB) went 1 for 4 yesterday. In his career against the Cardinals, Despaigne is 0-2 with a 10.24 ERA. He gets a solid St. Louis offense that's batting .261. Justin Upton (.263, 44 Rs, 14 HRs, 46 RBIs, 16 SBs) went 1 for 4 yesterday with one stolen base.
St. Louis is a heavy -180 favorite at home and the Over/Under (O/U) for this matchup is set at seven runs. The Cardinals perform well as a favorite with a 42-16 record and have an overall money line of +1,973. The Cardinals rank second in the NL in hits at home with 9.0 per game. They have been very patient at the plate, ranking fourth in the NL with an average of 3.1 walks per game. Turning to the pitching staff, the Cardinals lead the NL in ERA with a 2.65 team average. The Cardinals are third in the NL in hits allowed with just 8.2 per game. An area where the Cardinals are particularly strong is striking batters out, where they average 8.1 K's per game.
On the other side, the Padres have a record of 17-25 when they are the underdog and are -490 overall with the money line.
So far this season, the Padres are 2-0 against the Cardinals. The Cardinals will take on a right-hander (Despaigne) in this game. They have done very well against right-handed starting pitchers this season (44-16), especially at home where they have a 26-5 record. Taking the hill against the Padres will be the right-hander Martinez. They sport a 28-35 record against righties.
Predictions: SU Winner - STL, O/U - Over
The Padres won their last game by a one-run margin. In games decided by one run, the Cardinals are 16-13. The Padres are 10-11 in close games this season.
When the Padres play into extra innings, they have a 6-3 record. The Cardinals are 6-5 when their games exceed nine innings.
The Padres are coming off of a weak pitching game where they recorded four strikeouts. The Cardinals have a record of 12-6 when opponents' pitchers have that many strikeouts or fewer.
When they are outhit, the Padres are 7-34. The Cardinals have a 12-19 record when opponents outhit them.
Ranking 25th in home runs, St. Louis has hit 62 this season. San Diego ranks 17th with 69 home runs.
Ranking 14th, San Diego is in the top half of the league in hits, notching 8.23 per game. St. Louis ranks in the top five at fifth with 8.92.
Ranking 26th, San Diego is near the bottom of the league for its on-base plus slugging percentage (.668). St. Louis ranks in the top 10 at 10th with an OPS of .723.
The Padres are 19-31 in games where they allow one or more home runs. The Cardinals are 22-20 when they allow at least one homer.