One Game Playoff – Well, here we are; the St. Louis Cardinals are preparing to face the Atlanta Braves later this afternoon in Atlanta. From what I’ve read, you would never have inkling that the Cardinals are the defending World Series Champions of 2011. In fact, you would think they are newbies to this whole playoff thing and that annoys me. It also annoys me that, they are being picked to lose this one game playoff and not ranked in the top ten of most of the team rankings on sites such as ESPN or Fox Sports. Now, admittedly, they hadn’t done much until recently to show the kind of baseball they’re capable of playing but, really….? So, I’ve come up with my own “matchups” with the Braves based in part on the statistics that are available. Feel free to comment or respond.
Starting Pitching – Kris Medlen will be starting for the Braves and Kyle Lohse for the Cardinals. This should be on heck of a matchup as Medlen has been “lights out” for the Braves for much of the season. They seem to win every time he pitches. His numbers: 10-1 record, 1.57 ERA, 120 SO and 23 BBs. He holds opposing teams to a .208 average. What’s most remarkable to me is the fact; he’s only started 12 games! He did some relief for the Braves early in the season as he was recovering from Tommy John surgery. I think it’s safe to say…he’s recovered.
Kyle Lohse has been the Cardinals’ Ace this year. His record is 16-3 and he could have easily won 20 had his team given him better run support consistently through the year. His other numbers: 2.86 ERA, 143 SO, 38BBs and he holds the opposing team to a .239 average. So for pitching, I’ll give the Braves a slight edge but, the experience is on Louse’s side.
Outfield – The Cardinals typically have a starting outfield of Matt Holliday, Jon Jay and Carlos Beltran. They are hitting .295, .305 and .269 respectively. Together they have hit 63 homers, 239 rbis and 84 doubles. The Braves starting outfield usually consists of Jason Heyward, Michael Bourn and Martin Prado. They are hitting .269, .274 and .301 respectively. Together, they have hit 46 homers, 209 rbis and 98 doubles. The Cardinals’ outfield has a slightly higher OBP so; I’m giving the Cardinals the edge here.
Infield – The Cardinals infield will consist of David Freese(3B), Pete Kozma(SS), David Descalso(2B) and Allen Craig(1B). They are hitting .293, .333, .227 and .307. They have 49 homers, 211 rbis and 75 doubles. The Braves infield will consist of Freddie Freeman, Dan Uggla, Andrelton Simmons and Chipper Jones. They are hitting .259, .220, .289 and .287 respectively with 59 homers, 253 rbis and 93 doubles. Offensively, both teams are “even steven” in the infield. The Braves have the power while the Cardinals have the average.
Catcher – The Braves will be starting David Ross; Brian McCann is out due to injury. The Cardinals have MVP contender Yadier Molina. Who is the best overall catcher in MLB. He’s having an MVP year so, I won’t even bother with exact stats here. The Cardinals have the edge here…big time.
I won’t rate the bench or the managing since I’m only really familiar with the Cardinals. (For a more detailed preview, check out the article by my buddy James Benoit) I think the overall edge goes to the Cardinals. They have the more experienced players and they are on a quest to get 12 in 2012. Apologies to the Braves…GO CARDS!
Thanks for reading and tomorrow, I’ll give a wrap up of the game; I’ll be there rooting for the Cardinals.