Photo Credit: Amy (Flickr)

Series Preview: Toronto Blue Jays @ St. Louis Cardinals (April 25-27)

 

The Toronto Blue Jays continue their most recent road trip by heading into St. Louis to take on the rebounding Cardinals.

 

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The Toronto Blue Jays (5-14) are coming off a 2-2 series split with the Los Angeles Angels, and are in desperate need of a series win to get back to respectability. St. Louis (9-10) is coming off a 3-1 series win against the Brewers, having won their last three in a row.

 

History: The Blue Jays and Cardinals have played each other a total of 15 times, with the advantage in the all-time series going to St. Louis at 8-7. Toronto has a 3-3 record on the road the versus the Cardinals since their first series in 2003. The last time these two teams played each other was a three game set at the Rogers Centre where the Cardinals won two of three games.

 

Pitching: 2017 Totals

TOR – (Starters) 3.92 ERA, 1.31 WHIP, 1.14 HR/9, 7.6 K/9, .255/.317/.427

STL – (Starters) 3.33 ERA, 1.26 WHIP, 0.90 HR/9, 8.9 K/9, .248/.310/.395

TOR – (Relievers) 4.22 ERA, 1.27 WHIP, 0.98 HR/9, 8.5 K/9, .234/.312/.374

STL – (Relievers) 5.63 ERA, 1.60 WHIP, 1.50 HR/9, 8.4 K/9, .275/.364/.459

 

Offenses: 2017 Totals

Toronto – R/G 3.37 – .223/.292/.349 – 44 XBH – 9.2 K/G

St. Louis – R/G 3.63 – .231/.305/.373 – 50 XBH – 7.9 K/G

 

Game 1

First Pitch – 8:15 EST

M. Estrada RHP (2017: 0-1, 2.63 ERA) vs. M. Wacha RHP (2017: 2-1, 2.41 ERA)

Toronto will kick off their three gam eset to the Cardinals by sending, Marco Estrada, to the hill. Estrada (0-1, 2.63 ERA, 1.167 WHIP, 9.0 K/9) has been excellent to start the season.

Over his career he hold a (0-5, 5.10 ERA, 1.400 WHIP, 6.8  K/9) over 17 appearance, including 8 starts against the Cardinals. The last time he has seen them was during the 2014 season.

Estrada currently has a (0-1, 5.73 ERA, 1.455 WHIP, 7.4 K/9) over two starts on the road this season. He also has a career record of (0-2, 3.51 ERA, 1.320 WHIP, 5.7 K/9) over 7 appearances at Busch Stadium.

 

 

The Cardinals will counter with fellow right-hander, Michael Wacha. Wacha is off to an excellent start this season as his (2-1, 2.41 ERA, 1.125 WHIP, 8.2 K/9) record can attest.

The former Texas A&M Aggie has never faced the Toronto Blue Jays since his career started in 2013.

Wacha has pitched well at home this season, compiling a (2-0, 1.42 ERA, 0.789 WHIP, 6.4 K/9) at Busch Stadium so far in 2017.

 

Game 2

First Pitch – 8:15 EST

M. Latos RHP (2017: 0-0, 7.20 ERA) vs. C. Martinez RHP (2017: 0-3, 4.76 ERA)

 

With two pitchers still on the 10-day disabled list, the Blue Jays will give the ball to, Mat Latos, again for his secodn straight start. The big right-hander was decent in his first game against the Angels, giving up 4 ER over 5  IP. Things may be easier for Latos to get settled in this time as he will be travelling with the club, and is very familiar with St. Louis from his time as a Cincinnati Red.

Over 13 team starts, Latos, has a career record of (5-6, 5.76 ERA, 1.360 WHIP, 6.2 K/9) against the Cardinals. But, he has not faced them since the 2015 season.

Busch Stadium has not been particularly kind to the Florida native over his career. After seven starts Latos, has a (2-4, 7.68 ERA, 1.794 WHIP, 6.6 K/9) record. He’s last pitched in St. Louis back in 2013.

 

 

The Blue Jays will see one of the game’s most talented young arms in Carlos Martinez when they kick off action on Wednesday evening. Off to a slow start so far, Martinez, currently sits with a (0-3, 4.76 ERA, 1.500 WHIP, 12.3 K/9) record. While the peripherals are excellent, one aspect Martinez needs improvement in is his control As of now he sits with a career high 4.4 BB/9.

The only appearance against the Blue Jays for Martinez was a 2/3 of an inning way back in 2014. He did, however, strikeout both hitters he faced.

The Dominican native has been better at home than the road, as his (0-1, 3.65 ERA, 1.054 WHIP, 9.5 K/9) record ovr two starts can attest.

 

 

Game 3

First Pitch – 1:45 EST

C. Lawrence RHP (2017: 0-2, 7.56 ERA) vs. A. Wainwright RHP (2017: 1-3, 6.27 ERA)

 

Toronto will once again lean on call-up, Casey Lawrence, to provide them with a healthy effort in the absence of Sanchez and Happ. In his first start, Lawrence put up a valiant fight (6.1 IP, 8H, 5 R, 4 ER) but was done in three base-on-balls, and oen big swing by Andrelton Simmons.

With Lawrence having such little MLB time, it’s only natural the he have no experience against the St Louis Cardinals lineup, let alone at Busch Stadium.

 

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For the matinee game the Cardinals will send their former ace, Adam Wainwright, to the mound to battle, Lawrence and the Blue Jays. Wainwright (1-3, 6.27 ERA, 1.929 WHIP, 10.6 K/9) has been the shell of his former self for over a year now, and has battled hard to remain in the rotation.

The former first-round pick has faced the Blue Jays only once during career back in 2010. It wasn’t pretty as he allowed 5 R, 4 ER over 4 IP.

Wainwright has only make one of his four starts at Busch Stadium this season. His was a 5 IP, 3 H, 2 ER performance against the Cubs, which resulted in a loss.

 

 

 

 

 

*All Pitcher vs Batter Stats provided by ESPN

 

**Featured Image Credit: Amy (flickr) – UNDER CC BY-SA 2.0

 

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Wade is a long time baseball fan who has been involved with the game for over 30 years. Including as a former college player, amateur pitching coach, and blogger.

W Black

Wade is a long time baseball fan who has been involved with the game for over 30 years. Including as a former college player, amateur pitching coach, and blogger.