The St. Louis Cardinals’ surprising tailspin continued on Wednesday night, as the Redbirds dropped yet another game to the San Francisco Giants to make it seven losses in their last nine. Now St. Louis is looking to avoid the four-game sweep as these two teams meet one more time on Thursday afternoon, with first pitch from Oracle Park scheduled for 3:45 p.m. ET. Miles Mikolas (0-1, 7.46 ERA) heads to the mound for the Cards looking to put his slow start behind him, while the Giants counter with Logan Webb (1-4, 4.40).
San Francisco is currently a -145 favorite on the moneyline at DraftKings Sportsbook, while the Cardinals are +125 underdogs. The run total is set at 8.5.
Cardinals vs. Giants picks: Thursday, April 27
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)
Miles Mikolas vs. Logan Webb
Mikolas was an All-Star last year, but he’s been roughed up to begin 2023. The righty allowed an astounding 16 runs on 29 hits over his first three starts, and while he’s been better over his last two outings, he’s still yet to allow fewer than three runs in an appearance this season.
Webb’s top-line numbers don’t match up with what they’ve been over the last few years, but signs point to a lot of that being luck. The righty has posted a career-high strikeout rate so far, and his sinker/slider/change combo is still forcing an elite number of ground balls. His relatively inflated ERA looks like a product of a couple things: A very low strand rate of 65% (well below league average) and a frankly ridiculous 28.6% HR/FB rate.
In plain English: Webb’s contact profile is about the same, he’s getting more strikeouts than ever, but 1) he’s been unlucky in terms of the order in which he’s allowed hits, which we know is largely random and will regress to the mean and 2) an unsustainable number of the fly balls he’s produced have left the yard. The righty should be back looking like his sturdy self soon.
Mikolas has settled in a bit over his last two outings, and while San Fran boasts some dangerous lefties in their lineup, I think he’ll be able to navigate five innings or so well enough while Webb keeps a slumping St. Louis lineup at bay.
Pick: Under 8.5
The Giants have mashed righties all year, while Mikolas should have lots of trouble with lefties like LaMonte Wade Jr., Michael Conforto, Joc Pederson and Mike Yastrzemski. Unless this Cardinals lineup suddenly wakes up against Webb — and they’ve struggled against righties especially so far this year — I’m taking the Giants.