Since beating the Cincinnati Reds 7-5 last Friday, rain has washed down over the Cardinals. Twice the team has had games postponed due to rain. In the four games the team did play, they lost three by a total of four runs in games they seemingly should have won. They now hit the road, off to luxurious Cobb County, whose taxpayers bought the Braves a fancy new stadium.
As for how the new ballpark is going to play, it is too early to tell. The field plays a little smaller in right field and right-center, though the wall is a bit higher closer to the line. If you are interested in reading a bunch of sciene on wind and things of that nature, I recommend this article by Andrew Perpetua on the likely affect of the Braves new park on homers. In short, it plays a bit better than Turner Field, especially down the lines. For how the park has actually played so far, check out this piece from Mike Petriello.
As for the Braves, Freddie Freeman has been going bonkers in the early going, with 10 homers and a 217 wRC+. Matt Kemp is also off to a very good start, and strangely, so is Tyler Flowers, while Nick Markakis is doing okay.
In terms of former Cardinals legends, Shelby Miller is no longer with the club, but two remnants of the trade that sent Miller to Arizona are playing prominent roles with the Braves. Dansby Swanson is the team’s starting shortstop. He’s gotten off to a slow start, but should be fine. Also, he looks like Randal Grichuk.
The other player with an important role on the Braves is center fielder Ender Inciarte. He has a solid game based mostly on his defense. He is slightly below average with the bat and the Braves signed him to a five-year deal for $30.5 million in the offseason, buying out a couple free agent years. To my knowledge, he does not look like Randal Grichuk.
Regarding other Cardinals legends, Jason Motte is a reliever with the Braves and he shaved his beard. Sam Freeman is also on the team. Former Cardinals villain Brandon Phillips is on the Braves, but he’s not any good now. Jaime Garcia is on the Braves, but he pitched last night before their game was eventually postponed so we will not be seeing him pitch this series.
One more Cardinals-related Braves factoid: Adonis Garcia, the Braves third baseman is the brother of Adolis Garcia, the outfielder the Cardinals signed in the offseason. The Cardinals brother Garcia is hitting .300/.385/.488 in Springfield. The Braves brother Garcia has hit very poorly this season.
Tonight, the Braves are sending Mike Foltynewicz to the hill. Folty, as he is known due to having a long last name that is difficult to spell, has pitched pretty well for the Braves thus far. His strikeout, walk, and homer rates are all average, leading to a 3.94 FIP while a .264 BABIP has caused a much better 2.81 ERA. He throws a mid-90s fourseam fastball and pairs it with a mid-80s slider. He mixes in an occasional curve and change. Lance Lynn is pitching for the Cardinals.
On Saturday, Julio Teheran pitches for Cobb County. Teheran hasn’t pitched all that well, walking 18 batters in 35.1 innings, but he has only given up three homers, keeping his FIP and ERA at 4.33 and 4.32, respectively. His pitch-mix is nearly identical to Folty, going mostly fourseam fastball and slider, mixing in a curve and change. He does not throw quite as hard, averaging around 90 mph with his fastball. Mike Leake pitches for St. Louis.
Knuckle-baller R.A. Dickey pitches on Sunday. I feel obligated to note that Dickey doesn’t have a UCL. The 42-year-old has struck out 19 and walked 13 batters in 29.2 innings this season. He’s also given up six homers already, leading to an ugly 5.91 FIP. His ERA is just 3.94 and his current talent level is likely somewhere in between. Dickey throws a fastball about one out of ten pitches, but mainly sticks to his specialty, which floats in there aroun 77 mph. Michael Wacha will go for the Cardinals.
Tonight, May 5, 6:35 pm CT, Fox Sports Midwest
Saturday, May 6, 6:10 pm CT, Fox Sports Midwest
Sunday, May 7, 12:35 pm CT, Fox Sports Midwest, MLB Network (out-of-market)