Game 3 was...a bit of a charlie foxtrot, no? Oof.
Tara has a little preview of Game 4 here (when available).
Unfortunately, I think that the game 4 pitching match up lends a slight edge to the opposing Braves. The good news is that I have been wrong about the edge in every game this series! So the Cardinals win today. 100%. Duh. The Cardinals have been fantastic at home this year, so that numbs the sting of the pitching match up a little bit. But only slightly. Dallas Keuchel, who went in game 1 (see game 1 pitching matchup through that link) is starting again today for the Atlanta Braves.
Fortunately, I feel that a second look on 3 days rest at Dallas Keuchel is an IMPROVEMENT in the odds as compared to if they would have started Julio Teheran, as I had anticipated. The Cardinals hit Teheran's type pitches quite poorly in the last 2 months - with xwOBAs under .200 for all four offerings.
Meanwhile, the Cardinals turn to youngster Dakota Hudson. Hudson has gotten into and out of trouble as much as anyone this year it seems. Let's hope the "out of" follows any "into" when it pertains to troubles today.
Hudson's is a guy who will need to find the umpire's zone and be able to adjust accordingly; who will need to attempt to miss bats or limit damage as much as possible. None of Hudson's pitches have been hit terribly hard in the last couple of months. Hudson RARELY uses his offspeed pitch, but that's the pitch that Braves hitters have had the worst time on when it comes to similar pitches. Braves hitters have rocked fastballs and sliders like Hudsons - which he throws 87% of the time. They've been even better against Hudson-like power curve balls - over a .550 xwOBA. Hudson might have to turn more often to his most unreliable pitch in order to be reliable for the Cardinals. Could be quite a catch-22 there.
Here is the visual on Hudson's pitches, via cardinalsgifs:
Look at those first two pitches for Hudson - fastball/change up. Shouldn't they play off each other a bit better? Then look again at the last two because cardinalsgifs cooked up an overlay of the curve ball and slider for you next and it's delightful. Just think if he can get these two pitches going this well off of each other on the same day how it could carve up ANY team, not just the Braves.
LOOK AT THAT. The 81 mph curve ball just falls into place right into the landing spot of the 88 mph slider. The release points aren't so far off to be able to tell much of a difference out of the hand. That could be dominant stuff.
All that being said, I still have Keuchel as an edge over Hudson today, so let's hope Hudson's second half numbers are more predictive than the individual pitch numbers I have pulled, because then I like our chances a lot more!
Let's go Cardinals! #timetofly