I know you don’t want to see the St. Louis Cardinals again so soon. Or ever, for that matter. But that’s the reality the San Francisco Giants are facing. And you know who they get after the Cards? That’s right, the Colorado Rockies. Again.
I think the MLB schedule makers are seeing double.
Who: San Francisco Giants vs. St. Louis Cardinals
Where: Busch Stadium, St. Louis, Missouri
When: Friday (5:15 p.m. PT), Saturday (11:15 a.m. PT), and Sunday (4:08 p.m. PT)
National broadcasts: Sunday (ESPN)
Friday: Logan Webb vs. Jordan Hicks
Saturday: Jakob Junis vs. Dakota Hudson
Sunday: Carlos Rodón vs. TBD
Where they stand
Record: 19-12, 3rd in the NL West
Run differential: +40, 2nd in the NL
Postseason standing: 2nd Wild Card, 1.5 games back in the division
Momentum: 5-game winning streak, 5-5 in their last 10 games
Record: 17-14, 2nd in the NL Central
Run differential: +30, 4th in the NL
Postseason standing: 3rd Wild Card, 2.5 games back in the division
Momentum: 1-game losing streak, 5-5 in their last 10 games
Season series: Tied 2-2
Three Giants to watch
Logan Webb: Logan Webb has been good to start the year. He has a 3.82 ERA and a very gorgeous 2.64 FIP. He has 3.4 strikeouts for every walk. The Giants have won five of the six games he’s started. But while good is ... well ... good ... it’s not quite what Webb is capable of. He entered the season as a trendy Cy Young pick for a reason, and we haven’t quite seen that this year. His WHIP is 1.387, and he’s struck out just 6.9 batters per nine innings which, while nice, isn’t very nice, if you catch my drift. His last start was against the Cardinals, and he gave up four earned runs in five innings. He’ll want to do better this time around.
Evan Longoria: Longoria returned to the roster on Wednesday, and it seems like the Giants will use him as an everyday third baseman if he can stay healthy. The options there are limited. Can he be the player he was a year ago, when he was one of the top hitters in the league against lefties, league average against righties, and very strong defensively? Or will he be the guy struggled in AAA Sacramento in his rehab assignment?
Joey Bart: Bart’s year has been odd. The strikeout issues have been as advertised, and the hard hits have been as advertised, as well. But he’s mired in one helluva slump: in his last 14 games he’s hitting 4-42 with a home run, six walks, and 24 strikeouts. The Giants are continuing to treat him as the starting catcher, playing him twice every three-game series. I presume they’ll do that all year even if he keeps struggling, but ... they definitely hope he stops struggling.
Three Cardinals to watch
Nolan Arenado: Arenado is a unanimous first-team All-Giant Killer selection. But after two down years (by his superstar standards — he was still worth 4.2 fWAR last year) — Arenado is back to being the dude who finished top-eight in MVP voting five straight seasons, with four Silver Slugger Awards thrown in. All while still being the guy who has won the Gold Glove Award in all nine seasons of his career. Arenado is slashing .316/.378/.596, has hit seven home runs, and is second in the National League in position player fWAR with 2.0 (which, remarkably, is still a full win off of the leader ... have yourself a season, Manny Machado). He’ll try and feast on the Giants. Because that’s what he does.
Dakota Hudson: The Giants faced Hudson last week, in the game where they only struck out once. That one time was not against Hudson, who gave up three earned runs in 4.2 innings, while walking four. Hudson has just 18 strikeouts this year in 30.1 innings. The Giants quite like facing guys like that.
Jordan Hicks: Hicks throws well over 100 mph, despite being a starter. It is enjoyable to watch. Or at least impressive.
In the last preview, 40% of people predicted a sweep, but 98% accurately predicted a series win.
Who wins the series?
This poll is closed
Giants win 2-1
Cardinals win 2-1