St. Louis Cardinals Series Preview: Bader to return against the Buccos?

Kolten Wong #16 of the St. Louis Cardinals in the second inningat Busch Stadium on July 26, 2020 in St Louis, Missouri. (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)
Kolten Wong #16 of the St. Louis Cardinals in the second inningat Busch Stadium on July 26, 2020 in St Louis, Missouri. (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images) /
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ST. LOUIS, MO – JULY 24: Kwang-Hyun Kim #33 of the St. Louis Cardinals delivers a pitch during the ninth inning of the Opening Day game against the Pittsburgh Pirates at Busch Stadium on July 24, 2020 in St. Louis, Missouri. The 2020 season had been postponed since March due to the COVID-19 pandemic. (Photo by Scott Kane/Getty Images)
ST. LOUIS, MO – JULY 24: Kwang-Hyun Kim #33 of the St. Louis Cardinals delivers a pitch during the ninth inning of the Opening Day game against the Pittsburgh Pirates at Busch Stadium on July 24, 2020 in St. Louis, Missouri. The 2020 season had been postponed since March due to the COVID-19 pandemic. (Photo by Scott Kane/Getty Images) /

After being no-hit by the White Sox, can the Redbird pitchers keep up the pressure on the Pirates?

Game one – 2:15 pm, Thursday (game one)

Kwang Hyun Kim makes his third start of 2020 in game one. In his initial outing, KK went three and two-thirds innings, allowing just a solo home run against the Cubs. He then was shutdown versus the Reds, going six innings and not allowing a single earned run while striking out three. This leaves him currently sitting with a 1.69 ERA which is best among any Cardinals pitchers with at least two starts made.

KK has allowed just one barreled ball in his 35 batted ball events so far in 2020, per Baseball Savant. This gives him a current ratio of 2.9 barrels per batted ball event, which currently sits him in the top 23 of all MLB pitchers with at least 35 batted ball events.

Chad Kuhl will be starting against the Redbirds in game one, who leads the Buccos in ERA (2.84). Kuhl does own a 5.00 FIP and has a 1.93 HR/9, so there is certainly room to work Kuhl and hit the long ball off of him.

Game two – Thursday (game two)

Johan Oviedo debuted in the second game of one of the doubleheaders against the Chicago Cubs last week. Oviedo looked good, striking out four in five innings pitched, allowing just two hits and two walks. This strong performance has him at a 0.80 WHIP and he is an exciting talent that can make a real impact on this Redbird rotation.

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Oviedo is expected to take on Cody Ponce, who, similar to Oviedo, only made his MLB debut this year. This second game of the doubleheader will be Ponce’s first-ever major league start, but in his two outings to date, he has allowed three hits including two home runs to the Twins in three and third innings.

In the battle of the rookie stars, Oviedo certainly has a more limited minor league career having only spent one year at AA or higher, whereas Ponce has had three full years. Ponce has been a career AA starter, and in his four starts at AAA he allowed four homers and a 5.40 ERA.

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