The tough times continued for the St. Louis Cardinals on Tuesday night, as a Blake Sabol walk-off homer sent the Cards to their sixth loss in eight games. St. Louis will look to avoid the sweep against the San Francisco Giants on Wednesday night at Oracle Park, with first pitch set for 9:45 p.m. ET. Steven Matz (0-3, 6.55 ERA) will go for the Cardinals, while Anthony DeSclafani (1-1, 2.63) looks to continue his strong start for San Fran.
DraftKings sees this one as a true pick ‘em, with both teams checking in at -110 on the moneyline. The run total is set at 8.5.
Cardinals vs. Giants picks: Wednesday, April 26
Out: SP Adam Wainwright (groin strain), RP Wilking Rodriguez (right shoulder), RP Packy Naughton (left forearm strain)
Day to day: C Joey Bart (groin strain)
Out: INF/OF Drain Ruf (right wrist inflammation), SP Alex Wood (left hamstring strain), OF Bryce Johnson (concussion)
Steven Matz vs. Anthony DeSclafani
Matz has generated plenty of swings and misses so far this season, but when batters do make contact, it’s usually loud — the lefty ranks in the bottom quarter of the league in both average exit velocity and hard-hit rate. He’s generating more ground balls and fewer line drives, which suggests that he’s due for some batted-ball luck, and it could come against a Giants team that’s dead last in team OPS against southpaws.
DeSclafani is the Platonic ideal of a modern Giants pitcher, working his sinker/slider magic to induce plenty of ground balls while walking basically no one. The righty is giving up hard contact, but almost 60 percent of that contact is coming on the ground, where it’s far easier to limit damage and get outs. DeSclafani doesn’t have overwhelming stuff and can be vulnerable against better offenses — he was lit up by the New York Mets in his last start — but the Cardinals are struggling mightily right now, especially against righties.
The Giants have struggled against lefties all year, neutralizing important bats like LaMonte Wade Jr., Mike Yastrzemski, Joc Pederson and Michael Conforto, and Matz is due for some better results based on how well he’s throwing the ball right now. Add to that the Cardinals’ slumping offense, and I think the under is a safe bet.
Pick: Under 8.5
DeSclafani will give up plenty of contact, and I think the Cardinals — especially Paul Goldschmidt, who’s owned the righty in his career — do just enough offensively to support a bounce-back effort from Matz.