By Justin Gonzalez
Pick: Braves -135
The Atlanta Braves and St. Louis Cardinals will continue a three-game series when they clash at SunTrust Park in Atlanta on Wednesday night.
St. Louis manager Mike Shildt continues to preach patience, but he knows his team must play better starting with this current a six-game road trip that touches off in Atlanta. The Cardinals have lost nine of their past 12 games to sink to fourth place in They are hitting .238 as a team during this stretch while scoring one run or fewer six times and have allowed at least 10 runs on three occasions.
Right-hander Michael Wacha (3-0, 5.35 ERA) is taking the mound for St. Louis on Wednesday.
As the numbers suggest, Wacha is getting a ton of run support and is thus sporting a perfect record despite a bloated ERA. The 27-year-old has not pitched more than 6.0 innings in any start this season and he has reached the 6.0 mark only twice. He allowed four runs in 5.0 innings against the Cubs in his first May outing and then surrendered the same number to Pittsburgh in 5.2 innings of work last Thursday.
Mike Soroka (3-1, 1.21 ERA) will oppose Wacha on Wednesday. The right-hander’s rookie season is off to an incredible start, with no more than one run allowed in at least 5.0 innings of work in all five of his appearances.
Soroka most recently went up against Arizona last Thursday, when he tossed 6.0 innings of one-run baseball on four hits and three walks to go along with four strikeouts during a 3-2 setback.
The Cardinals are 1-4 in their last five games against starters with WHIPs under 1.15, 1-6 in their last seven road games against teams with winning home records, and 2-5 in the last seven meetings between the two teams. Atlanta is 5-2 in its last seven against the National League Central and 6-2 in Soroka’s last eight starts.
Soroka has quietly been the ace of this Braves staff and I think he does enough at home to outpitch Wacha and lead the Braves to victory.