An MLB Game Day Preview – St. Louis Cardinals VS. Atlanta Braves – Wrigley Field, Chicago, IL. (06.13.2021)
When: June 20, 2021
Where: Truist Park – Cumberland, GA
TV: Sunday – 7:08 PM EST | ESPN
6/20 – Kwang-Hyun Kim (L) vs. Drew Smyly (L)
St. Louis Cardinals
St. Louis Cardinals vs. Atlanta Braves Game Day Preview
On Sunday Night Baseball, the Cardinals will take on the Cardinals for the first time this season. This game will be the second half of a day-night doubleheader. The first game will begin at around 2 o’clock PM.
Atlanta won the first two games on Thursday and Friday by scores of 4-0 and 9-1. The Cardinals have scored just 4 runs in their last 4 games, however, they are 3-2 in their last 5 games. The Braves are currently 5.5 games behind the first-place Mets. They will play a second doubleheader on Monday in New York.
Unlike St. Louis, the Braves have had no issues scoring runs of late. They have scored 29 runs in their last four games, but are just 3-2 in their last 5 games just like the Cardinals. That includes back-to-back 10-8 losses in Boston. The Cardinals are currently 3.5 games behind the first-place Cubs.
This will be an exciting Fathers Day doubleheader on Sunday Night Baseball of St. Louis Cardinals vs. Atlanta Braves. These teams will not meet again until August 3.
On Tuesday, Kwang-Hyun Kim held the Marlins to one run and three hits while receiving a no-decision. He also allowed five walks, but that is an outlier this season. he has no previous experience versus the Braves.
Drew Smyly hasn’t pitched in a week. He last pitched on Sunday also in Miami. In that start, he recorded his first win since May 14 while allowing two runs in five innings. He struck out six batters as a part of a 6-4 win for Atlanta.
The Cardinals’ batting average as a team has dropped to .226. This is the second-lowest in the National League. Additionally, Nolan Arenado is 0-for-20 in his last 20 at-bats.
“Let’s not forget you’ll make things bigger than they are, and that’s when you get into trouble,” St. Louis manager Mike Shildt said. “We need to improve in areas and be more consistent. No doubt about it.”
The Cardinals have been able to rely on their 38-year-old catcher, Yadier Molina, again this season. Molina has a consistent .263 batting average. Since the beginning of 2018, he is batting .265.
Unlike Molina, 10-year-veteran Matt Carpenter has seen a significant drop-off since 2018 when he placed ninth in MVP voting. That season, he batted .257 with 36 homers. In 2019 he batted .226 with 15 homers. In 2020 he was on pace to bat .186 with 11 homers (in a 162 game season). This season he is on pace to bat .179 with 7 homers (in a 162 game season). Carpenter is in the second year of a two-year deal where he made $18.5 million this year. It is unclear whether St. Louis plans on retaining him at the end of the season.
Paul Goldschmidt has not lived up to his $26 million salary this year. He has seen a drop-off since 2020. he is batting .245 with an on-base of .310. in 2020 he batted .304 with an on-base of .417. The 33-year-old who has placed top 20 in MVP voting 7 of the last 8 years is exiting his prime.
Despite being only .500, the Cardinals are in a sort of win-now mentality because these veterans aren’t getting any younger. The NL Central is wide open and this might be the last year where their young stars such as Jack Flaherty and veterans primes overlap enough to go for a championship.
The Braves’ offense is driven by Ronald Acuña Jr. He is batting .293 with an OBP of .405. The 2018 Rookie of the Year has hit 18 home runs this season which places him near the top of the national league. Acuña leads the league in runs scored (56), stolen bases (15), and caught stealing (5). To top this off, he has reached base safely in 26 consecutive games. That is the longest active streak in the MLB.
Freddie Freeman, who had placed top 10 in MVP voting four times from 2013-2019 finally won the award in 2020. His 2021 numbers have dropped off a little since last season. In 2020, in 60 games, he hit an MLB best 23 doubles. in 66 games, in 2021, he has just 8 doubles. He has 16 homers witch is on par with his 2020 home run total, however his batting average has dropped .092 to 2.49. Additionally, his slugging percentage has dropped .166 to .474. Despite his relatively worse numbers when compared with last season, he leads the major leagues with 8 intentional walks.
Other contributing factors on the Braves’ offense are Ozzie Albies who is batting .257 with 10 homers and Dansby Swanson who has a .206 difference in his batting average and slugging percentage. Swanson is also a part of the “Ten Home Run Club” with 11 homers.
Chicago Cubs vs. St. Louis Cardinals Trends & Fantasy Baseball Picks
- Cardinals are 0-3 in their last 3 Sunday Night Baseball games
- Braves are 4-0 in their last 4 home games with the total set at 11.0 or higher
- Braves are 6-1 in their last 7 games with the total set at 11.0 or higher