We do not have to talk about how things have been going for the St. Louis Cardinals lately... Like we all know, right? I don’t have to write week after week about how they have “had a rough go of it lately”. Let’s just look at what the Philadelphia Phillies are going to be bringing their way. We are keeping it short and sweet.
On Friday the Phillies will send Cristopher Sánchez to the mound. In 117 career innings this lefty has a 4.31 ERA and 4.38 FIP. He strikes out an average amount of batters with a 22.7% K rate this season, but in walks issued he is in the 94th percentile according to Baseball Savant with a 4.7% walk rate. He throws three pitches: a sinker, a changeup, and slider. His sinker is his best pitch per Baseball Savant’s run value. He throws it nearly 50% of the time and though it doesn’t get a lot of swings and misses, he gets a ton of groundballs with a 58% groundball rate.
On Saturday the Cardinals face Zack Wheeler. Wheeler has been a solid pitcher in the league for the last several years, with his best season coming in 2021 when he amassed 7.2 fWAR. He remains the Phillies best pitcher this season and has a 3.70 ERA with a 3.04 FIP. He throws a 4-seamer, sinker, slider, sweeper, and curveball. His best pitch is his 4-seamer. It has a .205 batting average against and generates whiffs at a 31% rate.
The Phillies’ second-best pitcher this season is scheduled for the start on Sunday. Aaron Nola has a 4.49 ERA this season and a 4.33 FIP. His 4-seamer and curveball are usually among his best pitches, but have been less successful for him this season. The slugging percentage against them is a little bit higher than usual, though the curveball still has a whiff percentage above 33%. He also throws a sinker, changeup, and cutter.
On offense the Phillies are in the middle of the pack in a three-way tie for 13th in league by wRC+ with 103. Bryce Harper has been their best hitter with a 133 wRC+ and is slashing .299/.392/.468. Kyle Schwarber leads the team in home runs with 34 followed by Nick Castellanos with 21. The team’s best player though, per fWAR, has been rookie infielder Bryson Stott. Stott is hitting for 111 wRC+, but also contributes heavily with good baserunning and defense. Per defensive runs saved he ranks fourth among qualified second baseman with 8.
The second-place Phillies are trying to hold on to a Wild Card spot. The Cardinals are not playing for much. Here are the pitching matchups:
Friday, August 25 at 6:05 pm CT: Miles Mikolas vs. Cristopher Sánachez
Saturday, August 26 at 6:15 pm CT: Dakota Hudson vs. Zack Wheeler
Sunday, August 27 at 12:35 pm CT: Drew Rorn vs. Aaron Nola