We’re now into mid-June and the St. Louis Cardinals are still in last place in the NL Central. This is unfamiliar territory and after taking the first of three against the Reds it looked like they could dig themselves out of the hole, but two straight losses to drop the series and the Cardinals are now eight games back of first place at 27-39 as they welcome the 33-32 San Francisco Giants to town.
For Game 1 of three San Francisco will hand the ball to Logan Webb who is 406 with a 3.09 ERA this season. Webb will be opposed by 1-2 Matthew Libertore who is entering his fourth start of the season with an even 6.00 ERA.
The Cards need a win, but they are underdogs at home tonight.
Giants vs. Cardinals odds, run line and total
Giants vs. Cardinals prediction and pick
Yesterday, the Giants lineup exploded for 13 runs against the Cubs behind an unreal day from 1-2 in their order. Thairo Estrada had two home runs and a single, four RBI and scored three runs, Joc Pederson had four two home runs and two singles, four RBI and a walk. The bad news is that today against the lefty, Liberatore, Pederson’s hot bat might not even be in the lineup.
San Francisco is 21st in OPS against left-handed pitchers, .702 and 19th in home runs with 17. However, they might have a big game against Liberatore. In his 15.0 innings of work this year he’s allowed 16 hits despite a batting average on balls in play below league average, along with eight walks to just 11 strikeouts. The Giants are below league average in whiff rate and chase rate, so Liberatore will struggle to get punch outs and San Fran might find themselves with quite a few free passes.
I believe that the Giants will give Logan Webb some run support, and he might need it. Webb had a rough outing last start, four runs on eight hits in 5.1, but his 3.47 FIP and 3.69 expected ERA are still higher than his ERA, 3.10. Nolan Arenado is red hot for the Cardinals with a 1.281 OPS in June and a team high four home runs this month. Arenado can make up for a slow start to June for Nolan Gorman and Paul Goldschmidt. I like the over in the first of three games in St. Louis.
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