The Atlanta Braves and the St. Louis Cardinals kick-off a three-game weekend series at Busch Stadium this Friday night in a battle between two division leaders in the National League.
The Braves lost two of three to Chicago this week while managing to score just five total runs to fall to 19-13 on the year. Despite the mini-meltdown they remain tied with Washington atop the NL East. They are now 5-5 in their last 10 games and 11-8 overall on the road this season.
St. Louis continues to tear through the early part of the regular season with a 20-11 record overall to build a 3.5 game lead over Cincinnati in the NL Central. The Cardinals come into this series riding a four-game winning streak including a three-game sweep of Arizona earlier this week. They are 12-7 on the road and 8-4 at home.
Friday, May 11
Mike Minor vs. Jaime Garcia
Minor has struggled as of late; giving-up 15 runs and 18 hits in his last two starts. Overall, he is 2-2 on the year with an ERA of 5.97 in six starts. The left-hander has given-up four home runs in his last 11 1/3 innings.
Garcia got rocked by Houston in his last start to fall to 2-2 on the year. He gave-up six earned runs on four hits in six innings against the Astros. This left-hander has an ERA of 3.76 and a 1.41 WHIP in six starts this season. He is 2-0 with a 2.84 ERA in 19 previous innings against Atlanta.
Saturday, May 12
Brandon Beachy vs. Adam Wainwright
Beachy is off to a solid start with a 3-1 record and 1.62 ERA in six starts. His last time out, the right-hander held Colorado to two earned runs on four hits to pick-up his third-straight decision after a loss in his season opener.
Wainwright is 2-3 with a 5.61 ERA in his first six starts, but showing signs of returning to form with a solid outing against Houston is last time out. He went seven full innings and gave-up just one earned run on seven hits. Lifetime, Wainwright is 6-0 against the Braves with a 2.25 ERA.
Sunday, May 13
Tommy Hanson vs. Lance Lynn
It has been a roller-coaster ride for Hanson in his last two starts. After giving-up four earned runs in less than four innings against Philadelphia, the right-hander gave-up just two earned runs on five hits in six innings against Chicago. He is now 3-3 on the year with a 3.63 ERA.
Lynn is off to a blazing start with a perfect 6-0 start and a stellar 1.40 ERA. He has not given-up more than two earned runs in any of his six starts this season and has held the opposing team to four or less hits in five of those games.
The Braves have won six of their last eight games on the road and are 19-9 in their last 18 games overall. The total has stayed ‘under’ in three of their last four road games.
The Cardinals are 17-4 in their last 21 games against the NL East and 23-9 in their last 32 home games. The total has gone ‘over’ in seven of the last eight games at home.
Head-to-head, Atlanta is just 1-6 in the last seven meetings and 0-7 in its last seven games in St. Louis. The total has gone ‘over’ in eight of the last 11 meetings overall.
DJ is a freelance writer that concentrates on his true passion in life; the world of sports. He produces a number of articles each week for BangTheBook.com as well as a select group of other websites that specialize in providing the most up-to-date information for the sports gaming industry. His goal is to write insightful articles on a wide variety of sporting topics that can provide an edge to today's sophisticated online player.