Los Angeles Dodgers: Chris Capuano (10-5; 2.81 ERA)
Chris Capuano is a bit of an enigmatic figure. He isn’t going very deep into games (hasn’t gotten into the 7th inning in any of his last three starts), and doesn’t get the W as often as he should. That said, he has allowed just 6 ER over his last three starts and 9 over his last four. Solid numbers. The polarizing games can be attributed to whether or not he is able to strike guys out. He has a ton of K’s on the year, but in games in which he isn’t able to rack up a high number it seems the Dodgers aren’t able to pull out the win.
St. Louis Cardinals: Jake Westbrook (8-8; 3.60 ERA)
Westbrook is equally the polarizing character. In his last four starts, starting with the oldest, Westbrook has allowed 0ER, 4ER, 1ER, and 4ER. Westbrook, like too many of the Cardinals’ pitchers, seems to take the mound with either a great game or a poor one in his hand. Yes, this is a tangent, but it is relative to tonight’s matchup. This is the exact kind of situation that Dave Duncan as a pitching coach was capable of avoiding. When one of Duncan’s pitchers took the mound, you knew what you were getting. It remains that way with the only real Duncan pitcher on the roster: Kyle Lohse (Wainwright doesn’t count coming off the injury). Yes, there are trends we can point to that would indicate certain things, but trends can only take us so far. In order to compete in the NL Central or even the Wild Card, the Cards need to achieve a mark of consistency in their pitching. Let Westbrook’s start tonight be the start.
THE SKINNY: Wow. Two hugely up-in-the-air guys facing off against one another. Can anyone say, “Coin toss?” In reality, Capuano has the definite edge here. Even though it is unknown what will be the result, Capuano gets the job done statistically more often than Westbrook, and that is factually and concretely undeniable.