The NL West is absolutely loaded, but somehow at 9-7 the Arizona Diamondbacks are leading the division. The snakes won yesterday to avoid getting swept by the Marlins and to keep themselves over .500.
Now, they have a three-piece on the road against the St. Louis Cardinals. The Cardinals got a 10th inning win yesterday to split a four-game set with the Pirates and move to 7-9, which is fourth in the NL Central.
Today, Merrill Kelly goes for the Diamondbacks and he is opposed by Jack Flaherty.
Kelly is 0-2 with a 2.93 ERA and Flaherty is 1-1 with a 1.76 ERA. Let’s check out the odds for Diamondbacks and Cardinals in St. Louis.
Diamondbacks vs. Cardinals odds, run line and total
Diamondbacks vs. Cardinals prediction and pick
This looks like a very strong pitching matchup with Kelly and Flaherty going. The under is 3-0 in all of Kelly’s starts this year and same for Flaherty, yet the juice is on the over and the total is 8.5. There’s a reason for that and it’s FIP. Both pitchers have a great ERA, but FIP is a different story.
Those two numbers usually fall in line with each other and the FIP is typically the stronger indicator.
Kelly has allowed seven runs this season, but only five were earned. He has also issued 12 walks to 15 strikeouts and his average exit velocity is in the 16th percentile, but he’s only allowed one home run.
His FIP is 4.76 and I expect his ERA to start climbing very soon unless he can generate more soft contact or get out of the fourth percentile in walk rate.
Flaherty has given up four runs, three of them earned with 14 walks to 13 Ks. Though he isn’t giving up much hard contact and has a great expected slugging percentage which is 95th percentile in the MLB.
His numbers make me think he’ll keep his ERA down much longer than Kelly does, but a 5.41 FIP means his 1.76 ERA isn’t going to be for long.
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