Our latest run is over, but it was enough to lift us up and out of the red and back into plus returns on the season. We’re up just under one percent in 2016, which isn’t exciting but is somewhat satisfying when it’s a worst case scenario. The Cards could never really get the bats going last night against Jeremy Hellickson, nor when they finally did get into the Philadelphia bullpen. This afternoon the Cardinals sets their eyes on 24-year-old Vince Velasquez and I have reason to believe they will have more success at the plate.
Velasquez didn’t get dealt to a contender at the deadline and all he’s done since then is give some an impression that he may have hit a bit of a wall here in late August. Velasquez came out of the gates firing this season, highlighted by that 16 strikeout, three-hit shutout of the Padres in his second start of the season. On May 1, Velasquez’s ERA was 1.44; on May 28 it was 2.75; it plateaued in the mid-three’s for the better part of the summer; and now he enters this start with a mark of 4.14. Velasquez did K 10 in his last start, but he also served up three home runs – something he also did the outing before. In fact, in his last two starts, both of which came against the Dodgers, Velasquez has thrown 10.1 innings and given up 18 hits, 14 earned runs and six long balls. His command has been suspect and if there’s any club that will take advantage of a young pitcher who isn’t completely steady, it’s the Cardinals. They struggled to score runs last night. I don’t think that will be the case this afternoon at Citizens Bank Park. We can expect a quality start from the ever steady Mike Leake on the other side, so let’s play St. Louis again for the same half unit amount.
Gut Says: Birds -110
YTD: 24-22-1 +0.90
2015: 31-25-5 +1.09
2014: 45-28-3 +9.02