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A Quick Peek At The Cards

The Dodgers head to St. Louis for a four game series beginning tonight, in a place that has been a house of horrors for the Dodgers the last couple of years.  The Dodgers have dropped 14 of their last 17 games at differing versions of Busch Stadium.

Analyzing the Cardinals up to this point is instructive to a point, but their recent acquisition of outfielder Matt Holliday changes things quite a bit.  The middle of the Cards' lineup now looks as formidable as any team in the National League:

1B Pujols .325 .445 .693 1.138 .458
LF Holliday .297 .336 .471 .857 .378
RF Ludwick .275 .339 .500 .839 .366

Of course, having Albert Pujols makes any lineup formidable, but the team certainly looks much improved.  Add in recent acquisitions Mark DeRosa and Julio Lugo, and the offense looks even better.

The Cardinals pitching staff is led by brilliant yet fragile ace Chris Carpenter, who is 3-0 with a 1.86 ERA so far in July.  Carpenter is led at the top by Adam Wainwright, who is quietly putting together an outstanding season (11-6, 3.55), and a resurgent Joel Pineiro, who has a 2.95 ERA built on shockingly low amounts of walks, homers, and strikeouts.  The Cardinals starting staff lead the National League in inning per start, at 6.2.

The bullpen is led by closer Ryan Franklin, who has been outstanding this season (2.97 FIP, 22 saves), with major contributions from lefties Trever Miller (3.25 FIP) and Dennys Reyes (3.88 FIP), and Kyle McClellan (4.15 FIP).

The Cardinals are coming off a 2-5 road trip, but Monday's game marks the first game at home for new acquisitions Holliday and Lugo, so expect a raucous crowd.

2009 Cardinals
Record 53-48, 2nd NL Central, ½ GB
Pythag Record   
53-48 (5th in NL)
Runs Scored 4.40/gm (8th in NL)
wOBA .322 (10th in NL)
Runs Allowed 4.20/gm (6th in NL)
FIP 4.00 (5th in NL)
Defensive Efficiency .697 (8th in NL)


Viva El Birdos is the SB Nation Cardinals blog.  Here are some recent posts:


Pitching Probables

Monday: Randy Wolf (5-4, 4.24) vs. Chris Carpenter (8-3, 2.70 FIP), 4:05pm

TuesdayChad Billingsley (10-5, 3.50 FIP) vs. Adam Wainwright (11-6, 3.61 FIP), 5:15pm

WednesdayClayton Kershaw (8-5, 3.38 FIP) vs. Joel Pineiro (9-9, 2.99 FIP), 5:15pm

ThursdayHiroki Kuroda (3-5, 3.55 FIP) vs. Kyle Lohse (4-6, 4.51 FIP), 5:15pm