Through five series, the Cardinals have had three wins and two losses. They were swept by Pittsburgh and Carlos Martinez pitched them to their lone victory against Chicago, and took care of business against the Atlanta Braves, Milwaukee Brewers and Cincinnati Reds. The Padres fall closer in the latter category of teams. While they might no be as bad as a few of the teams they have played, the team is not very good and the Cardinals should destroy them.
The Padres have a weak-hitting team with only WIl Myers and Matt Kemp projected to be above average. Other names you might remember include Melvin Upton, Jr., and Alexei Ramirez. Upton is having a solid year so far. Another name from way back is Brett Wallace, who was once the centerpiece of the Matt Holliday trade. A name you will definitely remember s Jon Jay.
Jon Jay, in typical Jon Jay fashion, has a .281 batting average on the strength of a .375 BABIP. He has not yet been hit by a pitch, but his OBP is a decent .341. Continuing a trend, Jay's slugging percentage is just .328 on the season. It is early so the stats mean nothing at this point, but he is having a year that is close to expectations so far. As a team, the Padres are hitting .234/.299/.348 with a wRC+ of 80, which is very bad.
On the pitching side, the team is not great either. Overall the team has a 4.59 ERA, although their peripherals are a little bit better than that at 3.86 this year. Up first for the Cardinals will be Andrew Cashner, a pending free agent who might be on the move at some point this season. Cashner is example number one for a pitcher whose ERA does not match his FIP. In three starts, Cashner has pitched 15 innings with 15 strikeouts, five walks and one home run. A .356 BABIP and a 63% left on base mark and a sub-three FIP turns into a 5.40 ERA. Cashner faces off against Adam Wainwright at 9:40 tonight.
The second starter has not yet been named. Tyson Ross and Robbie Erlin are on the disabled list so Saturday's starter is still up in the air. The yet to be named starter will face off against Michael Wacha, who has had a couple encouraging starts in a row. That game is at 7:40 central.
On Sunday, Colin Rea makes the start for the Padres. Rea projects for an ERA and FIP both above four, and after three starts this year, he has not done much to improve those proejctions. He did have six strikeouts against one walk in his last start against Pittsburgh, going five innings and giving up three runs. Rea faces off against Mike Leake, whose stats look a lot like Andrew Cashner above. Presumably some regression is in order. We shall see if it happens Sunday and he his FIP and ERA both line up closer to the 3.50 mark of his current FIP or his 3.85 projections. That game will be played at 3:40 central time on Sunday.
Enjoy the weekend!