The Cardinals have the right starting pitcher on the mound to bounce back from two terrible losses.
St. Louis Cardinals at Colorado Rockies
St. Louis simply can’t wait to get out of the Mile High City, but all focus has been placed on avoiding the three-game sweep. The Cardinals are 7-13 against National League West opponents this year and have struggled against their current opponent in the past. The club managed to record a 1-6 record against the Rockies last year, including a 1-2 mark at Coors Field. Due to the recent problems on the mound, the offense may have to continue hitting the long ball away from Busch Stadium. St. Louis is second in the National League with 50 home runs on the road, including three big flies last night. St. Louis stands at 1-6 as a road underdog of +125 to +150 this season (-460), but are a dominating 50-23 when today’s scheduled starter is on the mound following a loss.
Cardinals starting pitcher Chris Carpenter is a solid 9-2 with a 3.16 ERA in 18 starts this season, after posting a 17-4 mark and 2.24 ERA in 2009. The right-hander is coming off his worst start of the season, dropping a 12-5 home contest to the Milwaukee Brewers. He lasted a season-low three innings and allowed eight runs (seven earned) on nine hits. Carpenter is a perfect 3-0 with a 2.73 ERA in eight road starts, striking out 50 batters and walking just 15 in 52.2 innings. The former Cy Young winner is also unblemished against today’s opponent, going 3-0 with a 0.75 ERA in five career outings versus the Rockies.
Colorado has scored a combined 20 runs in the first two games of the series, claiming come-from-behind wins in both. “No matter what’s going on guys aren’t giving at-bats away,” said Clint Barmes. The Rockies are now 7-2 in their last nine games and have tallied an impressive 11-3 record in the club’s last 14 home games. The late-inning heroics have moved Colorado within three games of the first-place San Diego Padres, who come into town for the last series before the All-Star break this weekend. The Rockies have dominated teams with a winning record this season, posting a 29-18 mark (+1,060), which is a change of pace from the team’s 90-93 record the last three years (-150).
Rockies starting pitcher Ubaldo Jimenez is a spectacular 14-1 with a 2.27 ERA in 17 starts, but has shown signs of weakening in his last three outings. Over that span, he has allowed 17 earned runs and 19 hits over 17.2 innings. The right-hander has produced a perfect 3-0 home record despite having his earned run average being 2.71 points higher than on the road (3.94 Home – 1.23 Road). Jimenez has been brilliant in eight daytime starts, posting a 7-1 record and 1.39 ERA. He has allowed just two home runs in 58.1 innings under the sun. In four career starts against St. Louis, he has a losing 1-2 record and 4.32 ERA.
Bettors beware – the Cardinals are one of the best bounce back teams in the league, posting a 24-14 record following a loss. The veteran club will surely be focused due to squandering leads in the last two games. The Rockies have had a tough time putting together long winning streak, producing a 2-5 mark after three or more consecutive wins.