We’re really starting to get down to the wire when it comes to the MLB trade deadline, and this matchup involves two teams who could be very active. They would each be involved for different reasons, both of which might have been a surprise before the season; the Cardinals are out of the playoff picture and might elect to sell, while the Diamondbacks could buy to fuel a final playoff push. Let’s take a look at the odds for Wednesday’s game, where my prediction is a Diamondbacks win and the under to hit at -120 odds for a total of 9 runs.
Cardinals vs. Diamondbacks Prediction
The Cardinals, as over as their season already seemed, had gotten a bit hot of late, winning 8 games out of 9, including 6 in a row. Then, a series loss in a four-game set against the rival Cubs left them on a downward trajectory once more, and forced them to come to terms with an unexpected lost season. This series has surely more of a positive thus far, but as far as they are from a playoff spot, it’s still more than reasonable to say they’re ready to pack it in and try again next year.
The Diamondbacks, on the other hand, were not expected to do much this year but surged early to shock the World and become a real fan favorite. Lately, things have been tough; they were just swept by the Reds, and have slipped a good bit in the NL West race, so the coming weeks will be make or break. The division crown is still on the table, but so is missing the playoffs altogether, so picking up some winnable games and having a strong deadline will be key.
As even as this series has been so far, that could all come to an end in the final matchup. That’s because Arizona is trotting out Zac Gallen, one of the total non-surprises in the team’s success. He’ll take the mound and hope to continue what has been yet another excellent season, although he has had a slight rough patch of late.
He’s facing off against Jack Flaherty, who is having another rough season as he struggles to showcase the form that made him a rookie sensation. That being said, Flaherty has gotten slightly unlucky as he’s limited quality of contact well but has still given up a good amount of runs. Paired with Gallen’s strong production, I think this is a great recipe for an under, to go along with the Diamondbacks moneyline.
Cardinals vs. Diamondbacks Prediction: Diamondbacks ML (-150), u9 runs (-120)
Cardinals vs. Diamondbacks Odds
The Diamondbacks are -150 home favorites, compared to +130 for the visiting Cardinals. For a run total of 9, the over is +100 while the under is -120.
Cardinals vs. Diamondbacks Key Matchups
Here are the key matchups that could decide Cardinals vs. Diamondbacks.
Zac Gallen Vs. Power Hitters
While Gallen’s overall profile is stellar this year, the one area where he’s had a bit of trouble is limiting barrels and hard hits. The Cardinals have struggled overall, but the offense has been pretty solid; the offense is actually 7th in the MLB in slugging percentage, so there are plenty of guys who know how to square up the ball.
The Cardinals’ best bat this year so far arguably hasn’t been defending NL MVP Paul Goldschmidt, although the former Diamondback does lead the team in WAR. He trails fellow superstar Nolan Arenado on the team OPS chart, as the third baseman is tops with a figure of .865. His 22 homers and .527 slugging percentage are tops on the squad, while Nolan Gorman’s 20 long balls and .489 SLG also eclipse Goldschmidt with 17 and .473.
Rookie Jordan Walker, a highly-touted prospect, has been up and down from the minors this league, but has also generally hit the ball well with a slugging percentage of .445, which would be fourth on the team if he qualified, and a 93rd percentile max exit velocity. I think Gallen should be fine, but there are definitely spots in this lineup where he could have some trouble.
Jack Flaherty Vs Left Handed Batters
A big part of the right-handed Flaherty’s struggles this year has been an inability to throw well against lefty bats. Opposing teams have taken note and platooned against him; he’s actually faced more lefties than righties thus far. The D-Backs, they don’t have too many, but they do have switch hitters, and the lefties they do have include some of their best hitters.
The most obvious and best lefty bat in the Arizona lineup is rookie Corbin Carroll, who has burst onto the scene this year with an OPS right around .900 and just started his first All Star game. The switch hitters are right at the top of the lineup, middle infielders Ketel Marte and Geraldo Perdomo. Marte has been excellent against both right and left handers, but Perdomo has definitely preferred righties, which bodes well for him against Flaherty.
There’s a few more lefties Arizona can roll out, such as outfielders Alek Thomas and Jake McCarthy, but none are threats like the previous few I’ve mentioned. The combination of high-end bats and depth throughout the lineup could make this a tough day for Flaherty, a key reason I have the home squad hitting their -150 moneyline in my Cardinals vs. Diamondbacks prediction.
Cardinals vs. Diamondbacks Starting Lineups
Cardinals Starting Lineup
DH B. Donovan L
1B P. Goldschmidt R
3B N. Arenado R
CF L. Nootbaar L
C W. Contreras R
2B N. Gorman L
LF T. O’Neill R
RF J. Walker R
SS P. DeJong R
Diamondbacks Starting Lineup
SS G. Perdomo S
2B K. Marte S
LF C. Carroll L
DH L. Gurriel R
1B C. Walker R
RF J. McCarthy L
3B E. Rivera R
C C. Kelly R
CF A. Thomas L