San Francisco Giants: Matt Cain (10-4; 2.82 ERA)

Cain is one of the NL’s premier starters, however the Giants are 2-5 in his last 7 starts and his ERA has risen from 2.27 to 2.82, posting a 3.86 ERA in the month of July.  Earlier in the season against the Cardinals, Cain went 6 IP, allowing 4 ER, not a very solid start by any means.  But Cain has the ability to lock in and just dominate a game, as evidenced by his 3 CG shutouts this year, including a perfect game on June 13th vs. the Astros.  The Cards are going to have to be on top of their game in order to beat this guy.


St. Louis Cardinals: Jake Westbrook (10-8; 3.79 ERA)

Jake is quietly pulling together a solid season, and is hitting his stride with 3 consecutive wins.  Even though he did allow 5 runs in 6 innings in his last start, the win provides solid momentum moving forward, and makes it easier to rebound from the shaky start.  The 5 runs did come at Coors Field, notoriously a hitters ballpark, and he has not allowed a HR in his last five starts, a very solid statistic given that the Giants have a poor offense and will be required to get more men on base in order to score.

THE SKINNY: I think this is actually a pretty close matchup given that Westbrook is riding a high and Cain a low.  If Westbrook can limit an offense that ranks poorly in almost every category, and is mediocre on the road, the Cardinals could come out of this with a big and 4th consecutive W.