(BaseballStL) -- The Cardinals play the final game of the three-game set with Milwaukee this afternoon. They then head home to the Busch for a pivotal stretch- playing Atlanta and Cincinnati- before heading to Pittsburgh to close August.
Now stats rarely tell the whole story, but they are certainly fun to talk about. With conversation in mind, here are 21 things you should know as the Cardinals close out the month.
1. Jon Jay is an altogether different player in the second half. He’s hit .327 since the break and .351 in August. He's also slugging .532 since August 1. He has the second-most hits of any center fielder in the NL since the break.
2. The other center fielder playing at the top of nearly every statistical category since the break is Andrew McCutchen. The Pirates star is second in hits, third in average, tied for third in home runs, tied for third in runs scored and fourth in RBIs. That isn't for center fielders. It's for all players in the National League.
3. Matt Holliday closes strong. For his career, he has more hits, at bats and runs scored in August than any other month.
4. In September, he traditionally improves his on his August totals in RBIs home runs and OPS, despite having nearly 240 less at bats to work with. It’s also the month where he strikes out the least.
5. The Cardinals have at least one player in the top 10 of every offensive category in the NL except for triples and stolen bases (min 300 PA). They have several categories in which they have two or more.
6. So do the Pirates and Reds. The Pirates have at least one player in the top 10 in every category except slugging percentage, the Reds only miss in slugging percentage stolen bases and triples.
7. Adam Wainwright has less walks than appearances. His best season prior to 2013 was last year when he posted a walks per game of 1.6.
8. His WHIP is 1.04, seventh in the NL. It would be first in the AL where the leader (Kuroda) has a WHIP of 1.05, the second place pitcher (Sanchez) has a Whip of 1.13. The NL’s leader (Kershaw) has a WHIP of .85.
9. While August is Wainwright’s best month statistically, September is his worst in terms of ERA and WHIP.
10. Jake Westbrook has had 13 games where he allowed multiple walks this season, 68 percent of his appearances. Eight were in the first half, five in the second.
11. 10 of the 13 were three or more walks.
12. Of the eight in the first half, he won four of them. He has won only one multi-walk game since the break.
13. Lance Lynn has allowed/been charged with three or more runs in an inning 11 times this season.
14. The Cardinals have the highest run differential on the National League, and the second in all of baseball with +142. That’s more than Cincinnati and Pittsburgh’s run differential combined (+139).
15. Five Cardinal players are in the top five in fielding percentage at their position in the NL.
16. Matt Holliday is first among all NL left fielders.
17. All five teams in the NL Central are in the top 10 in batters hit by a pitch in the majors. Pittsburgh has two players in the top five. Cincinnati has two in the top seven. As it stands, Jon Jay is eighth in that category.
18. The Pirates have an RPI of .522, giving them the fifth-toughest schedule.
19. The Cardinals rank tenth in strength of schedule according to ESPN.
20. While the Cardinals and Reds close with six straight home games, the Pirates close with six on the road.
21. At home, the Cardinals win 61 percent of the time. The Pirates win 52 percent of the time on the road.