It will be an interleague matchup of Central teams on Wednesday as the St. Louis Cardinals (51-50) take on the Cleveland Indians (49-49). The Indians will host this one at Progressive Field with first pitch scheduled for 1:10 pm ET.
This is the second of a short, two-game series as the Cardinals took the first game 4-2 on Tuesday. In the win, Adam Wainwright picked up his eighth win of the season after going seven innings, allowing two runs on four hits and striking out eight. Harrison Bader and Paul DeJong both homered in the victory.
Jose Ramirez picked up his 21st home run of the season for Cleveland in the loss, but the bullpen couldn’t get the job done for the Indians in this one. After Cal Quantrill gave up just one run in six innings, the bullpen gave up three in the last three innings.
The Indians are the slight favorites in the finale on Wednesday. They are -118 to win while the Cardinals’ moneyline sits at +100. The runline features St. Louis +1.5 (-194), while the over/under for total runs is 9 (-110).
Wednesday’s matinee will feature a couple of solid pitchers as Kwang Hyun Kim (6-5, 2.88 ERA) will take the mound for St. Louis against the Indians’ Zach Plesac (5-3, 4.30 ERA).
By The Number
Cleveland has been the stronger of the two teams on the offensive side. They rank 18th in scoring defense averaging 4.28 runs per game (4.53 at home). The Cardinals fall to 26th averaging 4.03 runs.
In terms of earned run average, the Cardinals have had the stronger staff. They rank 16th in staff ERA at 4.20 (4.71 on the road), while the Indians sit 20th with a 4.49 ERA.
Cardinals Hope To Finish Off Sweep
At 51-50, the Cardinals have been a model of inconsistency, which is part of the reason they are third in the NL Central and eight games back. They have especially struggled on the road, where they are just 23-30 after Tuesday’s win.
Trying to finish off the two-game sweep, they will turn to an offense led by Nolan Arenado. On the season, he is hitting .259/.313/.500 with a team-leading 20 home runs and 61 runs batted in.
Over the last week, it has actually been Harrison Bader who has been the Cardinal’s hottest hitter. In that span, he is hitting .522/.560/1.087 with three home runs and seven runs batted in.
Indians Hope To Break Out Of Slump
It has been a brutal stretch for the Indians as of late. They have lost six of their last eight and now sit 9.5 games back in the AL Central, despite being in second place.
Homering on Tuesday, Jose Ramirez has now added to his team lead in home runs (21), runs batted in (59), and runs scored (65). This will be the first time that anyone in the Indians’ offense has faced Cardinals starter Kwang Hyun Kim.
Take The Cardinals On The Runline
These two teams have been pretty similar in terms of production this year, and this is a pretty good matchup between Kim and Plesac. With so many things being similar, this could be a close one throughout.
For that reason, the best bet is to take the St. Louis Cardinals and the +1.5 runs on the runline.