The St. Louis Cardinals will welcome the Atlanta Braves to continue their nine-game homestand. The Cardinals have been solid as of late with a 6-4 record in their last ten, which has been the word to describe the Cardinals season; solid, but not good enough. Check out my thoughts on this series as the Cardinals host the Braves as each team vows for a wild card spot.
The Atlanta Braves own a record of 52-54. They are currently in third place for the NL East but are just 3.5 games out of first place. If the Braves are able to get hot as the postseason approaches, they could sneak their way into the playoffs, being around .500. The Braves are looking to start that hot streak after losing two games against Milwaukee.
Hopefully, this is the series where the St. Louis Cardinals make their run. Time is ticking for the Redbirds, and postseason hopes are looking grim. They are 10 games out of first place in the NL Central but only 6.5 games back of the final wild card position. This series should be entertaining and filled with competitive games with both teams fighting for their playoff lives.
The Cardinals Are Coming Off Of a Good Series Versus the Twins
The St. Louis Cardinals roster is loaded with talented and productive players, but it hasn’t clicked so far this year. They are 53-52, hovering around that .500 mark for a few months now. Last series against the Twins, they captured 2 out of the three games and are looking to add a few more wins to their record versus the Braves.
On Friday’s game, the Cards won 5-1 with a great appearance from Wade LeBlanc. Tommy Edman started his hot streak by doubling to drive in two runs. Nolan Arenado also added an RBI single. The Cardinals took the W in this one, and that’s all that matters, Wade LeBlanc stated after the game, who is still looking for his first win.
Saturday’s matchup featured Jake Woodford and didn’t help out the Cardinals by allowing 7 earned runs in less than three innings. The Cardinals weren’t able to rally the bats in this game, producing only 5 hits. Harrison Bader kept his hot bat going with an RBI single to add to his .293 average.
The final game of the series came on Sunday afternoon, and the Cardinals were ready to go. Adam Wainwright pitched a pretty seven innings, surrendering just 3 earned runs, then the bullpen finished off the win. Edmundo Sosa launched a homer, and Dylan Carlson had three hits leading off. Tommy Edman added in 2 doubles of his own.
The Atlanta Braves Need These Road Wins With a Tough Schedule Ahead
The Braves have been an alright team for the entire year. Losing Ronald Acuna Jr. was a very tough loss, but they made the move for Joc Pederson as a replacement. The offense for the Braves is tied for thirteenth in hits and is tenth in runs. Atlanta fans are rooting for their team to finish the season off strong and dethrone the Mets of 1st place in the NL East.
The first five guys in Atlanta’s lineup have all had productive seasons. Freddie Freeman has been the big bat with 23 home runs and 113 hits for the Braves. Austin Riley and Dansby Swanson have been great all year long as well. Marcel Ozuna and Wilson Contreras have had down years but are hoping to heat up soon.
The Atlanta Braves pitching staff ranks 13th for ERA and are tied for 16th in the MLB for BAA. The staff has been consistent and productive enough for the Braves to be in playoff contention. Charlie Morton has been the best pitcher in 122 innings pitched and a 3.69 ERA. Atlanta’s defense has been great this year, with a fielding percentage good for 3rd best in the majors.
This three-game series of two solid teams will be enjoyable to watch. Both teams made some moves at the trade deadline, as the Braves grabbed Wilson Contreras and Joc Pederson, and the Cardinals nabbed Jon Lester and J.A. Happ. The Cardinals needed some pitching because of Jack Flaherty and Miles Mikolas’ injuries. I’m excited to watch these three crucial games.
Pitcher Probables and Prediction
Tuesday, August 3rd: Jon Lester vs Max Fried
This matchup will feature two lefties that have had subpar years. The newly acquired Jon Lester takes the bump with a 3-5 record and a 5.02 ERA with the Nationals. Max Fried has a 7-7 record and a 4.32 ERA. I think the Cardinals will produce for Lester and allow him to get his first win as a Cardinal.
Wednesday, August 4th: J.A. Happ vs Drew Smyly
J.A. Happ is another new addition to the Cardinals rotation. He will face off against fellow southpaw Drew Smyly. Smyly has a great record of 7-3 and an okay ERA of 4.40. Happ has had a tough year with a 6.77 ERA and only 5 wins. I’m going to predict the Braves take this matchup, and Smyly pitches well against the Redbirds.
Thursday, August 5th: Wade LeBlanc vs Touki Toussaint
Wade LeBlanc will come into this matchup searching for his first major league win after 10 appearances. He is just 0-2 and has a mediocre ERA of 4.17. Touki Toussaint is 1-2 and holds a 4.76 ERA as he has limited starts this year. I’m calling that the Cardinals score tons of runs for LeBlanc and give him his first win of the year.