After having an off-day Monday, the Cards return tonight for the start of a two game set with the Tampa Bay Rays that has much bigger implications than just the outcomes of the series. If the Cards are to acquire David Price or Evan Longoria, it would likely happen over the next two days, so Cards’ fans should be watching the trade wire anxiously.

Adam Wainwright
Adam Wainwright

On the field, Cards’ ace Adam Wainwright (12-4, 1.83 ERA) is making his first appearance since last Tuesday’s All-Star Game. Waino so far has posted Cy Young quality numbers and has been worth a ridiculous 5.0 WAR in 2014. To put that in perspective, Wainwright was worth 6.2 WAR last season in which he finished second in the Cy Young voting. Currently, Waino is leading the league in wins, ERA, ERA +, and complete games which is absurd in its own right. However, against these current Rays, Waino hasn’t had much success, giving up a .318 average against them as a team. Two particular hitters that have had sustained success against Waino are David DeJesus and James Loney. DeJesus is 10 for 28 with two homer, three doubles, and a triple in his career against Wainwright however he is currently on the 15-day DL so there is no worry there. Loney is 12 for 26 with a homer and three doubles against Waino.

For the Rays, Jake Odorizzi (5-8, 4.01 ERA) takes the mound against this Cardinals team for the second time this season. Odorizzi threw a gem against the Cardinals earlier this season but took the loss as the Rays’ offense provided zero run support. Over 7 1/3 innings, Odorizzi gave up 1 earned run on three hits with five strikeouts. Outside of one dreadful start against the Royals, Odorizzi has been fairly solid this season never giving up more than four runs in a game. One factor that has led to his disappointing stats though is his high flyball to groundball ratio. Odorizzi gives up nearly twice as many flyballs as he does groundballs which will of course lead to more home runs and a higher ERA.

The Skinny: Overall, Wainwright has the advantage in any game he pitches, but the Rays success against him is worrisome. Jake Odorizzi is a solid pitcher who’s been the recipient of some bad luck, so don’t be surprised if he pitches a quality game tonight. The Cards¬† need to get Waino some early run support so he can cruise for the rest of the game, and the offense cannot take the night off just because their ace is on the mound.

The Lineup

  1. Matt Carpener 3B
  2. Kolten Wong 2B
  3. Matt Holliday LF
  4. Matt Adams 1B
  5. Jhonny Peralta SS
  6. Allen Craig RF
  7. Jon Jay CF
  8. Tony Cruz C
  9. Wainwright P