San Francisco Giants versus St. Louis Cardinals (September 4)
The Giants enter St. Louis in third place in the NL West, while the Cardinals hold a three-game lead over the Chicago Cubs in the NL Central.
Madison Bumgarner is scheduled to start on the mound for the Giants and Michael Wacha is set to take the ball for the Cardinals.
Offensively, the Giants have been mediocre all season, with 151 home runs and 4.4 runs scored per game.
Kevin Pillar leads the team with 20 home run runs and 75 RBI, although much of that game before he joined the tame.
Evan Longoria and Mike Yastrzemski have each added 18 home runs to the attack, and Brandon Belt has 16.
For the Cardinals, Paul Goldschmidt has been their biggest power threat with 29 home runs and 74 RBI.
Paul DeJong and Marcell Ozuna contribute to a solid power trio, each with 24 home runs. The problem with the Cardinals is they have very little else beyond those three.
They have hit 170 home runs as a team and are averaging 4.6 runs per game.
Their offense has been stagnant recently, averaging just 3.25 runs over their last four.
On the mound, Madison Bumgarner is 9-8 with 177 strikeouts and a solid 3.62 ERA. His only downfall is giving up the long ball, surrendering 24 home runs this season.
Closer Will Smith has an ERA under three with 30 saves and 82 strikeouts in 57 2/3 innings. Other frequently used relievers, Reyes Moronta and Tony Watson, have a combined ERA of 3.63 in 109 innings.
As a team, the Giants are allowing 4.8 runs per game.
Michael Wacha has struggled this season with an ERA of 5.07, much of which is due to allowing 25 home runs in only 110 innings.
Closer Carlos Martinez has 17 saves with a 3.23 ERA. The trio of John Brebbia, Giovanny Gallegos and John Gant have logged 193 1/3 innings, posting an ERA of 2.70.
The strength of the team, the Cardinals have allowed only 4.1 runs per game.
With neither team pounding the ball at the plate, the chances of a high-scoring game is slim.
This can happen if they can take advantage of the pitcher’s tendency to give up the home run ball.
If the games go to the bullpen later instead of sooner, the score should be under the line. Look for a Cardinals’ win by a 4-3 score.