Thu 27/08/2015 - 04:00 EDT

Thursday Night MLB Preview: St. Louis Cardinals Vs. Arizona Diamondbacks

Pitching Matchup:

Carlos Martinez (12-6, 2.85 ERA) vs. Rubby De La Rosa (11-5, 4.32 ERA)

Carlos Martinez: If you were asked to name who was an All-Star in 2015 for the Cardinals, it would be unlikely Carlos Martinez would be your first guess. After toiling in relative obscurity his first two seasons in the Majors, Martinez has become a pivotal cog for the best team in the Majors. Martinez ranks 11th in the NL in ERA and Strikeouts and his 12 wins ties him for 6th. Martinez has only pitched 9.1 innings against the D-Backs in his Career, allowing 2 runs and posting no record.  

Rubby De La Rosa: It’s hard to call De La Rosa a true ace, but for 2015 he has been the D-Backs best and most consistent pitcher. He has a tendency to give up the long-ball, but the Cardinals aren’t known as a major homerun threat, ranking 24th in total homeruns . De La Rosa has only faced the Cardinals once in his career allowing a single run over 6 innings in a no-decision.  

 

How Good is the Cardinals Pitching Staff

The Cardinals have the best record in the MLB this season and the reason for that, unmatchable pitching. Each one of the Cardinals primary starters has an ERA less than 3. To this into prospective, the NL has 13 qualifying pitchers who have an ERA of less than 3. The Cardinals have 4 of them and Jamie Garcia has an ERA of 1.77 in 12 starts as the fifth pitcher, but has not reached the innings threshold to qualify.   

The Right Pieces to Build Around    

The D-Backs are hovering right around .500 this season and at this point it’s unlikely they make up the necessary ground to catch the Los Angeles Dodgers or the San Francisco Giants in the NL West race. So the rest of the 2015 season will be focused around building a contender for 2016. The pitching nearly needs a complete overhaul, but the Diamondbacks have three .300 or better hitters to build around in 2016 – as well as enjoy for the rest of 2015. First baseman Paul Goldschmidt may be the best hitter in the entire league with an otherworldly OPS of 1.010. The other two hitters may be lesser known, but both deserve some attention. Centerfielder A.J Pollock and leftfielder David Peralta each have an OPS greater .850 and have an excellent mixture of power and speed.  

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