(BaseballStL) -- If the Cardinals gathered to watch the Reds-Pirates play-off game, whom will they cheer for?
Going strictly by statistics, it might be better for them to split up and watch the game in two different places.
At Adam Wainwright’s house will be the Cardinals’ starting pitcher, along with Matt Holliday and John Jay, all of whom will be cheering for Pittsburgh.
Wainwright is 1-0 against the Pirates with an ERA of 3.00. He has whiffed 20 Pirates in 21 innings and the Bucs are hitting just .208 against him. Wainwright is also super happy the Cards have home field advantage, because teams hit 60 points less at Busch than on the road when he pitches.
Perhaps more than his preference to face the Pirates is the fear of getting pounded like a Grand Canyon mule again by the Reds. He’s 1-3 with an ERA of 7.77 against Dusty Baker’s club. It is not a fluke. Cincy is batting .319 against the Cards’ ace who has walked the Reds seven times, more than any other National League team.
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Holliday will also be hoping for a Pittsburgh win, although he’s an equal opportunity masher. For the year, he’s hitting .342 against the Bucs with 26 hits and .308 against the Reds. Holliday likewise likes to play at Busch where he bats .318, making home field advantage important to him as well.
John Jay will be delighted to see the Pirates again. He’s hitting a remarkable .400 against them, with 24 hits, 15 runs scored and six doubles.
The rest of the Redbirds will be at Matt Carpenter’s home, wherever that is, cheering for a Reds victory. Carpenter, pleased to be playing at Busch where he’s hitting .365, is smacking around Reds’ pitching pretty good, hitting .315 with 12 RBIs and 26 hits.
Next to him on the couch will be Matt Adams, who hit just .133 against the Bucs, but .276 against the Reds with five taters and nine RBIs. If there’s any room left on the couch, it will be occupied by David Freese, who will be in full throat for a Cincinnati victory. Freese hit .308 against the Reds with 10 RBIs and just .154 against Pittsburgh.
In the most comfortable chair in the house will be Yadier Molina, who deserves the nice chair because of his season. Molina will likewise be strongly pulling for a Reds’ win. He spanked Cincy pitchers with a .304 average. Against Pittsburgh, he is batting just .173, the lowest against any team in which he has at least 20 at-bats.
Carlos Beltran, Pete Kozma and Daniel Descalso can choose which home has the nicest television and the best refreshments. Beltran is hitting .311 vs. the Reds and .297 vs. the Pirates and has eight extra base hits against each. He may not even watch the game.
Descalso and Kozma are not exactly tearing it up when facing either so to them, it doesn’t really matter to them either. Descalso’s average is .214 vs. the Reds and .184 vs. the Pirates.
Kozma is likewise above the Mendoza line against the Reds at .235 and below it against the Pirates at .175.
Players always say it doesn’t matter who they play and to an extent, they are correct. Injuries, fatigue, momentum, home field advantage, rest and experience determine outcomes more than past statistics.
The difference may well be the home field advantage the Cards enjoy, since in the second half, they are 7-7 against Pittsburgh and 5-5 vs. the Reds.