St. Louis @ Florida:
St. Louis faces a rejuvenated Ricky Nolasco. Nolasco made 6 starts in July and averaged 7 IP per outings. 42IP 32H 14ER 3HR 9BB 47K. Pretty solid numbers right across the line. St. Louis counters with Adam Wainwright.
Wainwright has been performing at a pretty amazing level all season. Since July 1st, his numbers look like this: 41IP 34H 8ER 2HR 7BB 33K. Pretty much a push. Wainwright has been ridiculous at home and drops down to just very good on the road.
Deluxe pitcher's duel.
Cincinnati @ Chicago:
The Reds send their nominal ace to the hill on Friday - Bronson Arroyo. Bronson has historically been a second half pitcher and we hope that trend continues. Bronson has a 3.28 ERA since the 1st of July and hitters are only hitting at .198 clip off him during that time. His WHIP AND OPS-Against are both quality. Bronson doesn't strike a ton of people out anymore but he usually gives a quality effort. The Cubs will trot out Tom Gorzelanny. TG has some average numbers since July 1st - 4.20 ERA/.278 BAA. He has been an above average pitcher for Chicago this season and has thrown some very good games in the past against Cincinnati.
Florida has dropped three straight and strike me as a very streaky team. They are on the edge of dropping out of contention for any sort of playoff spot. Nolasco has been pitching well and they are at home. I feel they rate a slight edge.
Chicago's season is in the toilet and they have been playing miserably lately. They did, however, bomb Milwaukee in their last game and Gorzelanny matches up well with the Reds' lineup. Still, I think with Bronson on the mound the advantage goes to Cincinnati.