The St. Louis Cardinals are a legitimate playoff contender. It’s hard to believe after the first half they had, but since the teardown and firing of Mike Matheny, they’ve been on a roll. The Redbirds have won eight straight series and increased their playoff chances to over 50 percent according to Fangraphs.
They will be looking for their ninth straight series win in Colorado over the weekend. After a travel day today, the Redbirds will look to distance themselves from the Rockies, who are also fighting for a playoff spot.
Friday the series will open with Cardinals’ ace Miles Mikolas on the mound against German Marquez. Both pitchers have double-digit wins this season.
Marquez comes in at 11-9 with a 4.42 ERA. He also has a 4.00 FIP and 1.318 WHIP to go with 151 strikeouts over 142.2 innings. Marquez picked up the win in his last start against the Braves after a strong outing. In that game, he went seven innings, allowed just two runs on five hits and struck out five.
St. Louis has faced German twice in his career. The first time, in 2016, they lost 11-1 and Marquez tossed five innings of one-run ball. Last season it was a similar story. In that game, he went 5.2 innings, allowed two runs, struck out five and picked up the win.
Miles Mikolas, as all Cards’ fans should know by now, has had a terrific season at 13-3 with a 2.80 ERA. In his last start, the All-Star pitcher went six innings against the Milwaukee Brewers. He allowed only one run on five hits and struck out seven on his way to win number 13 for the year.
Mikolas does have a start against the Rox in 2018. It came back on the second of this month. He pitched really well in that outing, going seven innings, allowing just one run while striking out six and picking up the no-decision. The Cardinals did go on to win the game.
The second game of the series will be played Saturday night. John Gant will square off with Tyler Anderson in that matchup.
Anderson is 6-6 this season with a 4.45 ERA, 4.64 FIP and 1.246 WHIP this season. He’s made a career-high 26 starts this year already, this being his third year in the big leagues. In his last start he gave up 10 hits and four earned runs through 6.1 innings in a loss to the San Diego Padres.
Tyler got a start against the Cardinals this season on July 30th. Though he got the no-decision, the Cardinals won the game. He went six innings and allowed four runs that night.
John Gant has been no more and no less than a solid starter for the Redbirds in 2018. Though he wasn’t originally a part of the plans for this year’s rotation, he’s done a nice job stepping in and getting the job done. On the season, Gant is 5-5 with a 3.76 ERA. His last start came against the Brewers. He went 4.1 innings and allowed two runs and took a no-decisionC. The Cards dropped the game 2-1.
Saturday will be the first time in Gant’s career that he has faced the Rockies as a starter or reliever.
Sunday afternoon will see the series finale. The Rockies have yet to announce a starter for that game after their off day Monday shook up their rotation. The Redbirds will go with rookie Austin Gomber.
Gomber is finding a lot of success this year. He was initially used out of the bullpen, but since the injury to Carlos Martinez, he has stepped into his rotation spot and filled it nicely. On the season he is 3-0 with a 2.98 ERA. As a starter, he’s gone 2-0 and posted a 2.73 ERA in five games.
His last time out was Monday against the Dodgers. He got a no-decision in that game after going five innings and allowing two runs. The Cardinals did pick up the win 5-3.
Gomber does have one appearance against the Rockies. That came out of the bullpen on August first. He actually picked up the win in that game after throwing a scoreless sixth inning. Sunday will be his first start against the Rockies.
Featured Image by Keith Srakocic of Associated Press
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