This Tuesday, the (87-61) St. Louis Cardinals and the (81-66) San Diego Padres will play the first game of this three-game series. The first pitch will be thrown out at 9:40 PM EST inside Petco Park. The last time these two teams matched up, the Cardinals ended up sweeping the Padres in three games.
The St. Louis Cardinals are coming into this one after winning their five-game series against the Cincinnati Reds. The Cardinals struggled at times, but they still looked great on the mound in their three wins. They will need to carry that momentum over into this game.
The San Diego Padres are entering this one after winning their previous four-game series against the Arizona Diamondbacks. The Padres also looked outstanding on the mound to close out their series, as they only allowed 1 combined run in the final two games.
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Can the Cardinals Keep Hitting?The St. Louis Cardinals are in first place in the NL Central, as they have an 8.0 game lead over the Milwaukee Brewers. St. Louis is also 6-4 in their last 10 games played, as they are still holding onto the third seed in the NL Playoff race, as they will need to win their division to hold onto this seed.
At the plate, the Cardinals are scoring 4.88 runs per game and they are hitting .254 as a team. This is the fourth most runs scored per game and the seventh-highest overall team batting average. They have been lethal at the plate this season, as they have consistently reached base and they have been clutch when they have men in scoring position. St. Louis is also hitting 1.25 home runs per game, which is the eighth most in the MLB. They have multiple guys that can change the game with one swing of the bat. I would watch for Paul Goldschmidt at the dish. He has already hit 25 bombs this season, which leads his team. I would also expect the Cardinals to stay aggressive once you reach base safely. They have already stolen 92 bases this season, which is the eighth most in the league.
According to MLB.com, the Cardinals will be starting Adam Wainwright on the mound. He is currently 11-9 with a 3.29 ERA and a 1.25 WHIP. In his last start, he pitched for 5.0 innings and he gave up one earned run, as he made it very difficult for the Brewers at the plate. Wainwright hasn't been great on the road this season, though. He has a 4-6 road record and a 4.31 ERA, as he has struggled at different times this season. The Cardinals bullpen has been solid, as well. They currently have the 12th lowest bullpen ERA in the MLB, as they have been tough to hit this season. As a team, the Cardinals are allowing 3.99 runs per game, which is the ninth least.
Can the Padres Heat Up Quickly?The San Diego Padres are currently in second place in the NL West, but they still trail the Dodgers by 21.0 games. They are also 6-4 in their last 10, as their play has allowed them to move up in the NL Playoff race. They now hold the second NL Wild Card spot, as they have a .5 game lead over the Philadelphia Phillies.
At the plate, the Padres are scoring 4.43 runs per game and they are hitting .240 as a team. This is the 14th most runs scored per game and the 19th highest overall team batting average, as they have struggled to consistently make contact with the ball since the trade deadline. They have also realized that they don't have much power inside of their lineup. They are only hitting .96 bombs per game, which is the 20th most in the entire league. Watch for Manny Machado at the dish in this one. He has already hit 29 home runs this season, which leads the team. I would expect the Padres to stay conservative once they have reached base safely, as well. They have only taken 43 bases this season, which is the fourth least.
According to MLB.com, the Padres will be starting Mike Clevinger on the mound. He is 5-7 this season with a 4.47 ERA and a 1.22 WHIP. In his last start, he pitched for 5.0 innings and he gave up seven hits and six earned runs to the Mariners. He has also had issues at home this season, as he is 1-3 with a 3.52 ERA inside Petco Park. The Padres bullpen is allowing 3.88 runs per game, which is the 15th most in the league. As a team, they are surrendering 4.22 runs per game. This is the 10th least amount of runs allowed.
Best Bets for this Game
Full-Game Side Bet
I will be hammering the St. Louis Cardinals in this game against the Padres. San Diego isn't hitting the ball well enough for me to believe that they can take down Wainwright and the Cardinals. He is currently 11-9 this season with a 3.29 ERA and a 1.24 WHIP. He also looked great in his last start, as he pitched for 5.0 innings and he only gave up one earned run. He will come into this game with a ton of confidence and he will pitch fairly deep into this one. The Padres are scoring the 14th most runs per game, but they have the 19th highest overall team batting average. They won't consistently reach base and they won't score enough runs to keep this game close. The Cardinals are one of the better teams in the league in my opinion, as I see them being very tough to beat. They are also scoring the fourth most runs per game and they have the seventh-highest overall team batting average. Clevinger will continue to struggle at home and the Cardinals will slowly pull away throughout this game. They also have the bullpen advantage, as I see the cardinals scoring consistently throughout this one. The Padres will struggle throughout this game and the score won't be close.
Hammer the St. Louis Cardinals, as they should win this game by at least two runs.
Full-Game Total Pick
I will be hammering the over (7.5) runs in this matchup between the Cardinals and the Padres. I just see the Cardinals exploding at the plate against Mike Clevinger. He has struggled at home all season and he didn't impress me in his last start. He only pitched for 5.0 innings, as he gave up seven hits and six earned runs to the Mariners. He continues to leave the ball over the middle of the plate and his opponents are taking advantage. He also gave up three bombs in his last start, as the Cardinals are going to tee off on him early. They are scoring the fourth most runs per game and they are hitting the eighth most home runs as a team. They can score multiple different ways and Clevinger just doesn't have what it takes to slow them down. Wainwright has also been shaky on the road this season, as I see the Padres giving us a few insurance runs to push this total over the number. I expect him to look good in this game, but I don't see a shutout. The Padres will eventually cash in at the dish and do their part in pushing this total over (7.5).
The Cardinals are going to dominate in this game. Hammer the over (7.5) and expect them to score the majority of the runs in this one.