Sixteen games are on the card for Saturday, leaving no shortage of things to talk about and consider. We saw a lot of runs and a lot of overs on Friday, including the 28-run outburst by the Blue Jays. It isn’t terribly shocking to see an offensive uptick with rusty pitchers that are almost all going on extra rest paired with the hot and humid conditions. However, I was surprised to the degree with which we saw offense.
Some teams looked ready to play and some didn’t. Let’s see what the Saturday card has in store.
Cardinals/Reds: Road Wainwright reared its ugly head yesterday as the veteran Cardinals hurler allowed seven runs on five hits, including two homers, over 5.1 innings of work. He struck out only two with just six swings and misses. The Cardinals jumped on Graham Ashcraft for four runs over 4.2 innings and the Reds pushed him out to 112 pitches to try and get him through five innings to be in line for the win. If you see a manager do that, it’s probably a good time to live bet the over, as runs are coming.
Marlins/Pirates: I wrote yesterday about Zach Thompson’s peripherals and some of the concerning things in his profile. They came to fruition yesterday, as he allowed seven runs on nine hits in 5.1 innings, including 11 hard-hit balls. The Marlins broke a streak of 37 scoreless innings with a four-run explosion in the fourth. They also got another strong outing from Braxton Garrett. I almost wound up on the under here, but Thompson’s BABIP and LOB% saved me from a losing pick.
Cubs/Phillies: Justin Steele gave up his first home run of the season on a four-seam fastball to lead off the game, but that was the only blemish for the Cubs in yesterday’s 15-2 pounding of the Phillies. The Cubs did score three in the eighth and then five in the fifth (off a position player) to make this one look more lopsided than it really was, but made the most of their chances against Kyle Gibson in the fifth inning.
The Cubs might be an interesting team in the second half. They probably won’t be any good, but they had a lot of chances with RISP in the first half and didn’t cash them in. They were 6-for-12 yesterday.
Padres/Mets: Yu Darvish outdueled Max Scherzer as the Padres came away with a 4-1 dub on Friday. Scherzer only gave up two runs on five hits over six innings for the tough-luck loss, as the Mets’ middle relief gave up some insurance runs. That seems to be the one questionable position group for the team, but that’s easy to address at the Trade Deadline.
Rockies/Brewers: Playing 13 innings in the first game back is not great, especially when both starters only manage five innings. The Brewers ultimately prevailed 6-5 and got solid relief work from Devin Williams and Josh Hader (nice velo increase), but both teams dug deep into the bullpen on the first day back. In a vacuum, it isn’t a big deal, but we’ll have to closely watch the pen usage for these two as the week goes along.