The St. Louis Cardinals and San Diego Padres will play a winner-take-all Game 3 in their Wild Card Series on Friday night. A spot in the NLDS against the Dodgers is up for grabs. The Padres, the No. 4 seed and host of the best-of-three series, stormed from behind in Game 2 to even the series. They'll try to carry that momentum over in Friday's Game 3.
Here's a look at the TV info, pitching matchup and more:
|Game||Date||Time||Pitching matchup||Channel||Odds (via William Hill Sportsbook)|
Fri., Oct. 2
7 p.m. ET
RHP Jack Flaherty vs. RHP Craig Stammen
STL +130; SDP -140; O/U: 9
And here are three things to know about this series.
The offenses are a mismatch
This is where the Padres have a clear advantage. During the regular season, the Padres -- fronted by dual MVP candidates Fernando Tatis Jr. and Manny Machado -- scored 5.42 runs per game, which was good for third in the NL. The Cardinals, meantime, averaged 4.14 runs per game, which ranked just 12th in the NL. The Pads also beat the Cards in OPS by more than 100 points, and they out-homered them by a margin of 95 to 51. Along these lines, it bears mentioning that Petco Park -- both this season and in recent seasons -- has played as slightly more of a pitcher's park than Busch Stadium has. In any context, the Padres are far superior offensively. Adjust for ballpark effects, and the Padres' OPS is 19 percent better than the league average, while the Cardinals' park-adjusted OPS is 10 percent worse than the league average.
Cardinals have pitching depth concerns
Playing 53 games in 44 days will obviously do a number on your pitching staff, and that's the case with the Cardinals. On top of all that, they have some injury concerns coming into this series. Miles Mikolas won't pitch this season, and Dakota Hudson -- the team's most consistent starter this regular season -- recently learned he'll need to undergo Tommy John surgery. As well, John Gant, one of manager Mike Shildt's go-to guys out of the bullpen, may miss the first round with a groin strain. Throw in ace Jack Flaherty's lack of consistency in 2020, and the Cardinals' big strength, run prevention, may be less of a strength right now.