Atlanta-St Louis Is A Big NL Showdown

Atlanta reliever Raisel Iglesias will play a key role in the Braves-St Louis Cardinals series this weekend
Atlanta reliever Raisel Iglesias will play a key role in the Braves-St Louis Cardinals series this weekend Rich von Biberstein/Icon Sportswire

Atlanta-St Louis Battle Of Two Hottest Teams In NL

Two of the hottest teams in baseball meet this weekend. The Atlanta-St Louis series could be a postseason preview. The Cardinals hold a six game lead over the Milwaukee Brewers, while the Braves are looking to keep pace with the New York Mets.

St Louis appears to have a slight edge in pitching: Spencer Strider faces Jose Quintana Friday, Charlie Morton takes the mound against Jordan Montgomery on Saturday, and on Sunday Night Baseball Jake Odorizzi and Adam Wainwright will be the starters. Odorizzi’s comes off his best start for Atlanta against the Pittsburgh Pirates. Morton has been excellent in his last two starts. Their two starts will go a long way to determining the outcome of the series.

Braves-Cardinals Battle Of Young Versus Old

The Braves lineup is full of young players who Atlanta locked up long term: Austin Riley, Ronald Acuna, Ozzie Albies, Matt Olson, and Michael Harris all are 28 years old or younger. All five have contributed to the Braves success this season, though Albies struggled at the plate before his injury. The Braves expect him to return from injury by mid-September.

On the other side the Cardinals Adam Wainwright, Yadier Molina, and Albert Pujols all may be in their last season. Pujols surge towards 700 home runs has led some to ask if he plays beyond this year, if he fails to reach that mark. He maintains that no matter what he plans to retire after this season. The Cardinals push towards another World Series will be on a wave of emotion if this is the last season for him, Molina, and Wainwright.

Atlanta-St Louis Prediction

Breaking down this series the Braves have an edge in pitching overall, and also are ahead of the Cardinals in runs scored. Cardinals hitters do have an overall better average this season. Given that this series is in St Louis, how hot both teams are, and both teams needing to win to improve their playoff position, this should be a close, intense series. With St Louis slight edge in the starting pitchers going in this series I am picking them to win to two out of three, but don’t take it to the bank.

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