St. Louis is 3.5-games back of the NL Central-leading Chicago Cubs despite starting out the season with a 23-20 overall record. The Cardinals are just 3-7 in their last 10 games and 9-11 on the road, so they will have to pick things up if they want to compete in what has turned out to be the best division in baseball. Four teams in the NL Central are over the .500-mark and within four games of the top spot. Can the Cardinals close their series in Atlanta with a win on Thursday?
Wainwright turning the corner for Cards
At 37-years-old, Wainwright is still finding a way to eat up innings and hitters in a Cardinals uniform. Following a slow start to the season, he’s posted three quality starts in his last four outings and is fresh off of his best start of the season. Wainwright tossed seven innings of one-run ball with eight strikeouts and no walks in a tough-luck no-decision versus the Pittsburgh Pirates. He enters with a 3-3 overall record to go along with a 4.15 ERA, but he’s shown signs of life as over his last four starts, striking out 18 batters and walking just five in 24 ⅓ frames.
For the 250th time, Adam Wainwright and Yadier Molina are the starting battery! pic.twitter.com/xziYhPTjH9
— St. Louis Cardinals (@Cardinals) May 11, 2019
Over the past three seasons, The Cardinals veteran is 1-1 with a 6.75 ERA in three starts versus the Braves. However, he is 4-1 with a career 3.00 ERA in nine appearances (six starts) on the road in Atlanta. Wainwright won his last start versus the Braves in 2017, limiting them to one run in five innings of work.
According to Baseball Savant, the current Braves’ roster is batting .282 in 88 plate appearances versus Wainwright. StatCast projects Atlanta hitters for an expected batting average of .349 and an expected slugging percentage of .604 heading into Thursday’s matchup.
Teheran fresh off back-to-back quality outings
The Braves will counter with staff ace Julio Teheran, who at age 28 is now the veteran in a very young starting rotation. Teheran has had an up-and-down year, but he’s managed to eat innings and give the Braves a chance to win nearly every time he steps on the mound. He has completed at least five innings in eight of his nine starts and he’s fresh off of back-to-back quality outings. While he is 2-4 with a 4.26 ERA for the season, Teheran owns a 2.88 ERA over his last four outings. The 28-year-old right-hander gave up just one run and three hits to lead the Braves to a 2-1 victory on the road against the Arizona Diamondbacks.
A Dansby Swanson web gem at Chase Field.
Sound familiar? pic.twitter.com/80JzvIQs0I
— FOX Sports: Braves (@FOXSportsBraves) May 12, 2019
Teheran made one start versus the Cardinals last season, shutting them out in six innings of two-hit ball to earn the win. He is 2-3 with a 3.18 ERA in six career starts versus the Red Birds. According to Baseball Savant, the current Cardinals’ roster is batting .273 in 137 plate appearances against St. Louis. StatCast data projects St. Louis for an expected slugging percentage of .472 heading into this matchup, so there could be plenty of runs put up on the board for both sides.
- Cardinals are 9-1 in the last 10 meetings in Atlanta.
- Cardinals are 5-1 in Wainwright’s last 6 road starts vs. Braves.
- Cardinals are 4-1 in Wainwright’s last 5 starts vs. Braves.
- Braves are 1-6 in their last 7 home games vs. a right-handed starter.
- Braves are 0-4 in their last 4 home games vs. a team with a losing road record.
- Braves are 0-5 in their last 5 Thursday games.