Though these teams are separated in the standings by just half a game, the Cardinals are just a half-game up on the Rockies for the second wild-card spot, while the Braves are 6.5 up on the Phillies in the NL East.
After struggling against the Dodgers over the weekend, the Cardinals playoff position is far less certain. They are just half a game ahead of the Rockies for the final playoff spot.
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St. Louis Cardinals
The second wild card team in the NL as of now, it has been a rollercoaster year for this team. Ever since replacing Mike Matheny with Mike Shildt, there has been a shift in the team’s mindset and performance. They have been one of baseball’s best. 35 home runs and 40 doubles have made Matt Carpenter a fantastic player for this team, and without a doubt the offensive MVP. Jose Martinez and his .301 average have been vital to their success.
Miles Mikolas has turned in an extremely impressive season, the team’s unexpected ace leading the pitching charge. 16-4 with a 3.01 ERA. One word: WOW.
The Cardinals will send Austin Gomber to the mound for his eleventh start (26th appearance) of the season. He had been looking good and getting the job done until he faced the Dodgers on Thursday. Seven runs allowed on nine hits in just three innings, and we saw his ERA go from 2.93 to 3.78. Every game is vital for the Cardinals, who will NEED Gomber to step up today.
Led by Nick Markakis, having a career-year in his fourteenth season, the Braves are looking to lock down the NL East title. They are almost certainly going to be in the postseason, and have many players to thank. Freddie Freeman, who has been slugging impressively, rookie standout Ronald Acuna Jr, who has been mashing home runs from the leadoff spot, and the surprise standouts Ozzie Albies and Johan Camargo, who have consistently come through in the RBI department. Kevin Gausman, who has gone 5-2 since coming over from Baltimore has been vital to the improvement in the starting rotation.
The Braves will send 34-year-old Anibal Sanchez to the mound for his 22nd start (23rd appearance) of the season. He has gone 6-5, posting a 3.01 ERA in 119 2/3 innings of work. Sanchez has struck out 118 batters while walking just 39. He was solid in his last outing against the Giants, allowing just one run on six hits over six innings of work. However, he has not picked up a win since August 3.
Sanchez ends winless streak, Braves move closer to clinching
A good day for the Braves, as they knock off the Cardinals, led by Anibal Sanchez’s impressive outing. Freddie Freeman and Nick Markakis will each have three-hit games to help power to the offense.
Johan Camargo will also knock his 19th home run of the season out of the park.
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