Aaron Nola-Free Agent
Aaron Nola is one of the top free agents available this winter. He has spent his entire professional career in Philadelphia. Nola is very familiar with Busch Stadium, and he has pitched 41.2 innings across seven seasons. In seven starts, Nola has a 3.89 ERA, 0.98 WHIP, and has struck out just below nine batters per nine innings. He has multiple starts greater than six innings long as well.
Nola is also relatively familiar with Wrigley Field. In 36 innings across six starts, he has a 5.50 ERA, 1.25 WHIP, and a 2.71 strikeout-to-walk ratio. Hitters have fared well against him in Wrigley, as he has given up at least three runs in each of his six starts. Nola's ERA is greater than 4.30 in every stadium in the NL Central (4.37 in Milwaukee, 4.88 in Pittsburgh, and 4.50 in Cincinnati).
Shane Bieber has pitched exclusively for the Cleveland Guardians. In his 6-year career, Bieber has been an All-Star three times, won a Gold Glove once, and has won a Cy Young award. He has made two starts at Busch Stadium, pitching six innings in each game. He gave up only one run each time. His 1.50 ERA, 1.17 WHIP, and 10 strikeouts are all strong numbers. Cleveland won both games he pitched in at Busch Stadium.
Bieber has pitched 33.1 innings in Cincinnati, the most in any National League Central stadium. He has a 3.51 ERA, 0.99 WHIP, and has struck out 39 batters. He pitched 8 innings twice and only failed to make it into the 6th inning in one of his five starts at Great American Ballpark. He has never pitched at Wrigley Field or Milwaukee, and he didn't give up a run in six innings in Pittsburgh. Bieber would surely succeed should he be traded to St. Louis.
Sonny Gray-Free Agent
Sonny Gray is the most veteran of the pitchers on this list. Gray has been heavily linked to the Cardinals this offseason. He is pretty familiar with Busch Stadium from his days with Cincinnati between 2019 and 2021; in 35.1 innings, Gray has an ERA of 3.31, a WHIP of 1.08, and a 2.92 strikeout-to-walk ratio. He has given up only three home runs in 6 starts. Gray's 35 strikeouts at Busch are also noteworthy.
Most of Sonny Gray's innings in the majors have occurred in Oakland and Cincinnati. He has accumulated 194 innings at Great American Ballpark with an ERA of 3.66, a WHIP of 1.12, and a strikeout-to-walk ratio of 3.64. He has only given up 26 home runs in 37 starts. Gray has also pitched well in Milwaukee (2.48 ERA in 32.3 innings) and Pittsburgh (1.35 ERA in 13.1 innings). He hasn't pitched well in Chicago, though, as he has a 4.71 ERA in 21 innings.
Jordan Montgomery-Free Agent
Jordan Montgomery is pretty familiar with Busch Stadium and Cardinal fans are very familiar with Montgomery himself. St. Louis acquired Monty at the 2022 Trade Deadline, and they dealt him to Texas just this past summer. Montgomery has made 20 starts at Busch Stadium for a total of 115 innings in his career. He has a 3.21 ERA, 1.24 WHIP, and he has allowed only nine home runs. Busch Stadium has been friendly to the southpaw.
Montgomery is also familiar with the other National League Central ballparks due to his tenure in St. Louis. He has pitched in 4 games at Wrigley Field for a total of 26.2 innings. He allowed 13 earned runs in those starts for an ERA of 4.39. He also has a WHIP of 0.98. Montgomery has pitched well in Pittsburgh (2.31 ERA, 1.20 WHIP in 11.2 innings) and Milwaukee (one start, seven innings, three hits, two walks, and nine strikeouts). In his one start in Cincinnati, he went four innings and gave up four earned runs this past season.