The Colorado Rockies and St. Louis Cardinals battle in the second of a four-game series on Friday night. The Cardinals pulled off a comeback victory after being down 5-2 after five innings in the opener. Paul DeJong hit a two-run homer off starter German Marquez in the sixth, then the red-hot Dexter Fowler hit a two-run homer off reliever Yency Almonte in the seventh to give St. Louis the lead for good. The Cardinals would hold on to win 6-5 with Carlos Martinez getting his 15th save of the season. The Cardinals bullpen provided three no-hit innings in relief of Miles Mikolas.
The Rockies will send Pete Lambert (2-3, 6.55 ERA) to the bump against Jack Flaherty (7-6, 3.46 ERA) on Friday. Flaherty has been on a tear in August. In his four starts, he is 3-0 with a 0.35 ERA. In Lambert’s last outing against the Marlins, he went six innings allowing three runs on six hits.
The Cardinals are the favorite at -215 and the over/under is 8.5.
Rockies Fading Down the Stretch
The Rockies were in the Wild Card conversation a little over a month ago. They are not anymore, with a record of 58-70 and 25-41 on the road.
Lambert has a WHIP of 1.56 and has allowed 81 hits in 66 innings on the season. This will be eighth start since the All-Star break, where he has allowed opponents to hit .297 against him. This will be his first start against the Cardinals in his young career.
Rockies hitters have hit the ball well against Flaherty, although it is a very limited sample. In 16 plate appearances, they have a team OPS of 1.018. Daniel Murphy is 1 for 1 with a double, and Charlie Blackmon is 1 for 3 with a home run. Trevor Story and Ryan McMahon have been the two hottest hitters for the Rockies since the All-Star break with OPSs of .961 and .960, respectively.
Colorado has Kyle Freeland, Jon Gray, Scott Oberg, and David Dahl on the IL.
Cardinals Streaking Towards Playoffs
The Cardinals have won 10 of their last 13 games and sit a half-game behind the Cubs in the National League Central. They have a record of 68-58 and are 37-24 at home. St. Louis would currently be a Wild Card team if the playoffs started today.
Flaherty would be the second-half Cy Young if they had such an award. In seven starts since the All-Star break, he has an ERA of 0.83, a WHIP of 0.83 and has given up only two homers in 43 1/3 innings. He has only one career start against the Rockies, going 5 1/3 innings and allowing four runs in a 6-3 loss.
Cardinals hitters have never faced Lambert. On the season against right-handed starters, the Cardinals have a team OPS of .718. Over the last seven days, Fowler is 8 for 25 with two doubles and two home runs, and an OPS of 1.054, and Paul DeJong is 5 for 21 with three homers and an OPS of 1.000, effectively carrying the St. Louis offense.
The Cardinals have Brett Cecil, Jose Martinez, and Tyler O’Neill on the IL and Austin Gomber and Drew Robinson listed as day-to-day.
The Cardinals are playing some of their best baseball of the season. Combine that with Flaherty’s second-half dominance, and this game should be all Cardinals. I would hop on this line early as it will grow to -250/260 by first pitch. I am all in on the Cardinals tonight at Busch Stadium.