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2019 NLDS Game 3 Pitching Preview

Game 3 poster, courtesy of cardinalsgifs.

The St. Louis Cardinals and Atlanta Braves play again this afternoon - what's with all of the afternoon games? We have another one tomorrow as well! - for their 3rd game of this NLDS tilt that is tied at one game apiece. The Cardinals beat the Braves when I gave the odds to the Braves in game 1. The Braves returned serve by beating the Cardinals when I gave the Cardinals the edge in game 2. We'll see how that bodes today for the Cardinals because my numbers say that the Cardinals have the edge on the mound with Adam Wainwright today despite Mike Soroka having an overall better year AND being good on the road. Why do my numbers say that? Let's check them out!

Here is what Tara Wellman has to say about Game 3 (link).

A quick reminder of what I'm doing here in these previews:

Mike Soroka (left) has thrown just about 60% fastballs for the last two months. That plays into what the Cardinals hitters have been good at. Cardinals have hit similar fastballs really well (.436 xwOBA), and thus I give the Cardinals a good chance at beating up on Soroka. What I am worried about is that Cardinals have not seen an offspeed pitch similar to Soroka's and he doesn't throw a curve. Soroka's slider, though, is similar to ones that the Cardinals actually hit quite well (.328 xwOBA). The two pitches that Soroka throws about 17 of every 20 pitches the Cardinals have hit well lately.

What does Soroka's stuff look like, visually? We again turn to cardinalsgifs for that:

Soroka's 3-pitch mix

Meanwhile, Adam Wainwright throws almost exclusively fastballs and curve balls. When it comes to similar fastballs and curve balls to Adam Wainwright's, the Braves have been carved up. Their xwOBAs of .216 and .000, respectively, make me feel like Wainwright could give the Cardinals a real shot in this game despite the overall numbers of the two starting pitchers seemingly giving the Braves quite a large edge.

If you've watched Cardinals baseball over the last 14 years or so, you know Wainwright's repertoire. But he's been mixing it well lately - analysis by Joe Schwarz over at the Athletic ($). Here's the visual, via cardinalsgifs:

Wainwright's 3-pitch mix

Overall, over the last two months worth of baseball, my numbers show the Cardinals hitters chances of hitting Soroka higher than either of either Keuchel or Foltynewicz thus far in the series. My numbers give the Braves the worst chance of hitting any Cardinals' starter. I really like the Cardinals chances today.

More conventional stats that would give Wainwright a good chance as well, with his home stats looking like this:

16 starts, 95 innings (5.94 per outing), 9-4, 84:13 K:BB, 1.295 WHIP, 2.56 ERA

(and only 2.75 runs allowed per 9)

He's really been quite good at home...and that's why the Cardinals have him pitching game 3 today.

Let's go Cardinals!


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