A pair of National League teams continue a series on the diamond down in the Valley of the Sun. The St. Louis Cardinals are on the road as they play the middle game of a three-game set with the Arizona Diamondbacks Saturday night. St. Louis swept Colorado at home in their previous series as they rolled to a 13-0 triumph Thursday afternoon in their most recent game. Arizona split a four-game series on the road against the Giants as they earned a 5-0 triumph Thursday afternoon in the series finale. This article was published prior to the conclusion of the series opener at Chase Field Friday night.
St. Louis Cardinals Seek to Extend NL Central EdgeSt. Louis won their fourth straight game as they hammered Colorado in the finale of their three-game set at home Thursday afternoon. The Cardinals entered Friday leading the NL Central by three games over the Brewers and hope to extend that advantage here. Paul Goldschmidt (run, two RBI) had three hits while five other players each had two for the Cardinals to pace a 15-hit attack. Albert Pujols (his 11th) and Lars Nootbaar (his eighth) each homered in the contest for St. Louis in the victory. Adam Wainwright (9-8) earned the win as he threw seven scoreless innings, allowing three hits with no walks and seven strikeouts before departing.
Dakota Hudson is on the mound for his 22nd start of the season for the Cardinals in this contest here. He comes in 6-6 with a 4.17 ERA, a 1.400 WHIP, 50 walks and 62 strikeouts over 110 innings of work this season. Hudson didn’t factor in the decision in his last start, which came on the road against the Rockies on August 11. He threw five innings, allowing two runs on four hits with four walks and six strikeouts in a game the Cardinals eventually dropped 8-6. In his last three starts, Hudson has no record with a 4.72 ERA, a 1.73 WHIP, eight walks and nine strikeouts over 13.1 innings of work. Hudson makes his third career start against the Diamondbacks in this contest. He is 2-0 with a 1.50 ERA, a 0.917 WHIP, seven walks and nine strikeouts over 12 innings of work. Hudson, in his 91st career appearance and 63rd major league start, pitches at Chase Field for the first time here.
Arizona Diamondbacks Trying to Climb Toward .500Arizona won their second straight and their fourth in the last six games as they picked up the win in the finale of their set with the Giants to earn a split of the four-game set. The Diamondbacks entered Friday fourth in the NL West, 26.5 games behind the Dodgers for the top spot. They were 9.5 games behind the Padres for the final wild-card spot in the National League. On Thursday, Josh Rojas (run, RBI) and Jake McCarthy (run, RBI) each had three hits to lead the way for Arizona. Zac Gallen (9-2) earned the win on the mound as he threw 7.1 scoreless innings, allowing four hits with no walks and 12 strikeouts before handing it off to the bullpen.
Madison Bumgarner takes the hill for the Diamondbacks and logs his 25th start of the year here. He comes in 6-12 with a 4.37 ERA, a 1.418 WHIP, 41 walks and 94 strikeouts over 127.2 innings of work this season. Bumgarner took the loss in his last start, which came against the Giants on the road Monday. He threw 5.2 innings, allowing six runs on eight hits with two walks and six strikeouts in a 6-1 Diamondbacks defeat. In his last three starts, Bumgarner is 0-2 with a 7.79 ERA, a 1.79 WHIP, five walks and 16 strikeouts over 17.1 innings of work. Bumgarner makes his 15th career start against the Cardinals in this contest. He comes in 5-6 with a 5.26 ERA, a 1.284 WHIP, 20 walks and 68 strikeouts over 78.2 innings of work against them. Bumgarner is 18-12 with a 3.70 ERA, a 1.236 WHIP, 73 walks and 231 strikeouts over 272.2 innings in 48 career appearances, 47 starts, at Chase Field.
Best Bets for this Game
Full-Game Side Bet
Arizona rallied to take the last two games of their set against the Giants but they are still a sub-.500 team that is well off the pace in the playoff picture. St. Louis entered Friday holding the edge in the NL Central and had won four straight games. Bumgarner has struggled of late and that could prove problematic against a Cardinals lineup that just put up 13 on the Rockies at Busch Stadium. Hudson has been unspectacular of late and most of the season for that matter but the Cardinals are capable of putting crooked numbers on the board. Look for St. Louis to get a lead and the bullpen to lock it down for the Redbirds as they earn a victory here.
Full-Game Total Pick
St. Louis has seen the over post a 55-58-4 mark on the year entering Friday. The Cardinals are 4th in runs per game (4.78) on the year and that number trends down slightly to 4.63 runs per game as the road team. St. Louis has an average total of 8.73 runs per game and that climbs up to 9.22 runs per game on the road. Arizona entered Friday with the under having posted a 62-51-5 mark in their games this season. The Diamondbacks are 17th in runs per game this season as they average 4.26 runs per contest. That number trends up slightly at home to 4.44 runs a night. Arizona’s average total of the season is 8.68 runs per game, a number that drops to 8.55 runs per game at Chase Field. Neither pitcher is overwhelmingly good so lean toward this one going over the total.