In a battle of the aces, Adam Wainwright and the Cards look to snap their three-game losing streak against Cole Hamels and the Phillies. Here’s what you need to know before the first pitch at 3:10 CST:
Pitching Matchup: After skipping his last scheduled start with elbow tendinitis, Wainwright (9-3, 2.15 ERA) will look to record his 10th win of the season. In his last start against the Rays, Wainwright tossed seven shutout innings, but he was not at his sharpest, so it will be interesting to see how he performs today. Waino earned the victory in his last start against the Phillies, which was all the way back in April 2013. He pitched seven innings and allowed three runs in that start when he opposed Cole Hamels on the mound.
The other ace, left-handed pitcher Cole Hamels (2-3, 2.78 ERA), may be the best pitcher in the league right now. Hamels has not allowed an earned run in 22 2/3 innings, and he has allowed just one run in 29 2/3 innings. Furthermore, the Cards struggle against lefty pitchers, as they hit just .232 compared to a .256 batting average against right-handing pitchers. When he pitched against the Cards last season, he pitched seven innings and conceded three runs in a 4-3 defeat. Look for Allen Craig, who is 3 for 9 with a HR in his career against Hamels, to potentially have a big game.
The Skinny: It’s difficult to see the Cards’ offense breaking through against the Phillies’ best pitcher. Also, we aren’t exactly sure what to expect from Wainwright since he skipped his last start, but he’s had plenty of rest. It’s hard to believe that the Phillies will beat the Cards on the road in three straight games, but I have to give the slight advantage to Philadelphia.