The St. Louis Cardinals travel to Chicago on Friday to replay a pitching match-up from last Sunday. The results should be much of the same with the Cards prevailing. St. Louis starter Lance Lynn has owned the Cubs this season, going 3-0 with a 0.94 ERA. He’s also been hot since getting some time off at the All-Star break – he’s allowed just one run in his past three starts.
As was the case on Sunday, he squares off against Travis Wood. Before that game, I expected Wood to bounce back from a poor performance in his previous outing. Instead the Cubs starter looked bad, allowing six earned runs in six innings. What was notable was Wood’s inability to close out hitters when he got ahead in the count. Cardinal batters will be aware of this so don’t expect improvement. Pick St. Louis.
A healthy Dan Haren means good news for the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim when they host the Tampa Bay Rays. Haren’s recurring back injuries certainly hurt his overall numbers earlier this year: in total, he’s 7-8 with a 4.76 ERA. But a recent stop on the disabled list appears to have given his body much-needed time to heal. In his first outing since returning he gave up just two runs in a strong six-inning performance. Equally important, he also said he felt good physically.
Tampa Bay will counter with Alex Cobb who is 4-7 with a 5.05 ERA and doesn’t have a physical ailment to explain his generally poor showing in 2012. The Angels are a robust eight games over .500 at home and should extend those winning ways against the Rays.