(Baseball StL) -- Well, let’s try this again. After dropping the series to the hapless Marlins, the Cards get a re-do of sorts, facing the equally pathetic Cubs.
Chicago’s cringe-worthy .229 road BA is tied for 27th in the league, and the Cardinals have the league’s strongest rotation. It should be a cruise control victory for the Birds, but as last weekend showed- baseball is never predictable.
For your entertainment, here are three points to digest before tonight’s series opener.
1. Miller loves St. Louis.
As the game one starter, Miller is looking to continue his home dominance. The young hurler is a different guy on the Busch bump, and his splits prove it. Despite pitching 40 innings at home and 41 away, the stats are anything but equal.
Miller’s WHIP is 1.20 on the road, but a stingy .74 in St. Louis. Of his 17 walks, 12 are away from home. He has given up three times as many earned runs on the road, and 12 more hits. Lastly, hitters are averaging 58 points better when they get Miller on the road; probably because he averages 1.1 GO/AO (frequency of ground ball outs versus fly ball outs thrown) at home, and only .65 while away.
2. The Cubs hate St. Louis.
It’s been 11 months since the Cubs have been in Busch. The last time Chicago’s northsiders came to town, it was stunningly one-sided. They scored one run in the series opener, and never crossed home again. The Cards, however, scored four in the opener, 12 in the sequel and seven more in the final game for a series score of 23-1.
In the series the Cubs were outhit 39-16. To make it worse, the Cards could have done even more damage as they left 48 men on base (including a unbelievable 19 in game 2).
3. Travis Wood is having a monster year.
The opposing game one starter is under appreciated, and would likely be water cooler fodder if he didn’t have the unfortunate distinction of pitching for the Cubs.
His 2.65 ERA and 1.00 WHIP are strong, but it’s the embarrassing .191 average hitters have against him that really stands out.
The guy has given up 25 earned runs off 57 hits on the year and is 5-5. Comparatively, Cardinal ace Adam Wainwright has surrendered just as many runs off 95 hits and has a 10-3 record (he also has a 1.01 WHIP and batters are hitting .247 against him).
There are plenty of stats that solidify Wainwright’s stardom, but comparing the basics, Wood has flat-out been harder to succeed against.
Sometimes it’s all about where you play, not how you play. Thank the gaudy .342 average the Cardinals have with runners in scoring position.