Sunday, July 14, 2013
5 stats to know: Cardinals/Cubs
By Jeremy Lundblad
The St. Louis Cardinals and Chicago Cubs will close the first half of the 2013 baseball season by meeting on Sunday Night Baseball at 8 p.m. ET on ESPN.
The game will feature a matchup of All-Star starting pitchers. Here are a few of the topics our broadcast crew will be focusing on tonight.
1--The Cardinals entered Sunday tied for the best record in the NL and could have the league’s best record at the break for the first time since 2005. The last team to win the World Series that had the NL’s best record at the All-Star Break was the 1995 Braves.
The Cardinals have had the NL’s best record at the break six other times in the last 50 years. In five of those seasons, they went to the World Series.
2-- Cardinals starter Adam Wainwright has a 9-to-1 strikeout-to-walk ratio this season. The top eight pitchers in the majors in that stat made the All-Star team this season. Wainwright’s strikeout-to-walk rate is even better when considering only right-handed batters. He’s whiffed 57 of them and walked only three.
3--Cubs starter Travis Wood enters the day as the NL leader in quality starts with 17. He enters the day with an 0.97 WHIP. He has a chance to be the first Cubs pitcher with a WHIP of 1-or-better at the All-Star Break since Greg Maddux in 1992.
One notable weakness for the Cardinals: They are 8-12 in games started by left-handers this season.
Wainwright is 6-foot-7, the tallest starting pitcher in the NL. Wood is 5-for-11, tied for the fourth-shortest starter in the NL.
4--The Cardinals are hitting .334 with runners in scoring position this season, 68 points better than any other National League team. The last NL team to hit .300 with RISP over a full season was the 2000 Rockies.
The Cardinals have the top two hitters in the league in batting average with runners in scoring position-- Alen Craig (.477) and Carlos Beltran and three others in the top eight-- Matt Carpenter (.383, sixth-best), Yadier Molina (.378, seventh-best) and Matt Holliday (.368, eighth-best).
Cardinals one through five hitters in the batting order are hitting .399 with runners in scoring position in 2013.
5-- The Cubs are 15-27 vs the NL Central this season, but are 27-23 against teams outside the division. They are also a major-league worst 11-20 in one-run games and have the fewest comeback wins (13) and most losses in which they blew a lead (26) in the league .
Since 2010, the Cubs have the third-worst winning percentage in baseball, trailing only the Houston Astros and Seattle Mariners.