After a four-game sweep of the Cincinnati Reds in Ohio, the Diamondbacks dropped their first game after returning back home to take on the Cardinals last night at Chase Field. The third-place D’Backs are still lurking in the NL West, just 5.5 games back, while the Birds’ lead in the Central continues to dwindle with a hot Pittsburgh team on its heels. Jaime Garcia will start for St. Louis against Arizona’s own lefty Robbie Ray.
Jaime Garcia is now a dozen starts into his 2015 campaign after an injury from last year pushed back his debut in this one. His hot start and lack of innings made his ERA and WHIP numbers stand out among the rest of the National League’s starters. But his numbers have remained just about as low as where they started now about halfway into a typical season. Garcia has not allowed more than three earned runs in any one of his outings this season and, as a result, his ERA sits at a microscopic 1.79. Arizona actually hit him for one of those three earned run outings back in late May but he’s been fire since. Throwing the best baseball of his life and still seemingly a little underrated in Vegas while doing it, I’m always looking to back Garcia in a decent spot.
Matched up with Robbie Ray might just provide that spot. Ray has simply been a little less impressive, while just as consistent when compared to Garcia. His 1.25 WHIP is as good an indicator as any as to how tough he can be on opposing offenses and eight quality starts in fifteen chances (with many more close calls) shows the consistency. St. Louis’ offense hasn’t approached a level of concern, but injuries have certainly trimmed down that lineup a bit. And I actually think Ray is in a pretty fine spot to fire six nice innings tonight. With Garcia almost certain to do the same, the chances of this one seeing nine runs cross the plate seems pretty slim. But we’ll play the Birds straight, too.
YTD: 17-15-4 -1.41
2014: 45-28-3 +9.02