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Entries in AA.J. Burnett (1)

Thursday
Oct032013

The Black & Gold in a Sea of Red

The Cardinals and Pirates are meeting for the first time ever in a postseason game and everybody is talking about the momentum of the Pirates and desire for revenge for the postseason-returning Cardinals.

Let me get one key stat out of the way

We know as long as the Cardinals can get runners on base, they are going to be very dangerous.
  • The NL batting average with runners on was .257 - The Pirates hit .248, the Cardinals hit .313.
  • The NL batting average w/RISP was .251 - The Pirates hit .229 (only the Cubs were worse), the Cardinals hit .330 (all of MLB was worse).
So let's put that discussion aside and talk about who has the home field advantage.

The Black & Gold is the New Black

It was stunning to see and hear the Pirates fans in their dismantling of the Reds in the Wild Card play-in, but that surprise factor is gone and the Redbirds are going to be ready and the Cardinals fans are going to be inspired.

Only the Atlanta Braves (56-25) were more effective at home then the Cards in the NL this season.
Rk Tm W L W-L% GB Home Road
1 STL 97 65 .599 --- 54-27 43-38
2 PIT 94 68 .580 3.0 50-31 44-37
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table Generated 10/2/2013.

Note that despite the fact that the Pirates took the season series, 10-9, the Cardinals were 6-3 at home versus the Bucs. So, even though the Pirates were 7-3 against Cards in Pittsburgh's House of Thunder, three-of-five games are being played in St. Louis, Louie.

In Game 1 and if there is a Game 5, the match-up will be Adam Wainwright against A.J. Burnett.

The difference in the numbers is significant:
2013 NLDS Cards vs Pirates Games 1 & 5 Match-up
G IP IP/G ERA WHIP AVG SLUG OBP HR K BB K/BB Grnd%
Adam Wainwright at Home 17 121.0 7.12 2.53 0.942 .217 .314 .254 7 114 20 5.70 50.2%
A. J. Burnett - Away 16 96.0 6.00 4.22 1.365 .257 .388 .329 6 96 35 2.74 57.3%
  Burnett is clearly not as effective on the road as he is on his home turf, but Wainwright is very effective in the shadow of the Arch and that can't be minimized.

Pirates batters in St. Louis

Russell Martin did great against the Reds and all season long he hit the Cards well on their home field. The Cards will happily live with more of the same from Andrew McCutchen and be thrilled with Pedro Alvarez if he continues his flailing against the Redbirds in their home colors. Justin Morneau was 0-for-10 in St. Louis.
2013 Pirates @ St. Louis (min. 10 PA)
G PA AVG OBP SLUG OPS AB H 2B 3B HR K BB
Jose Tabata (PIT) 7 25 .391 .440 .696 1.136 23 9 4 0 1 4 1
Russell Martin (PIT) 7 31 .346 .452 .885 1.336 26 9 2 0 4 7 5
Clint Barmes (PIT) 7 23 .316 .409 .474 .883 19 6 0 0 1 5 3
Garrett Jones (PIT) 8 29 .308 .379 .654 1.033 26 8 3 0 2 6 3
Andrew McCutchen (PIT) 8 35 .276 .400 .414 .814 29 8 1 0 1 7 6
Starling Marte (PIT) 6 33 .269 .387 .423 .810 26 7 2 1 0 8 2
Tony Sanchez (PIT) 5 10 .250 .400 .250 .650 8 2 0 0 0 3 1
Pedro Alvarez (PIT) 9 41 .237 .268 .342 .610 38 9 1 0 1 13 2
Jordy Mercer (PIT) 5 14 .214 .214 .500 .714 14 3 1 0 1 4 0
Andrew Lambo (PIT) 5 11 .200 .273 .400 .673 10 2 2 0 0 3 1
Neil Walker (PIT) 7 32 .172 .219 .241 .460 29 5 2 0 0 7 2
Marlon Byrd (PIT) 4 14 .231 .286 .538 .824 13 3 1 0 1 3 1
Gaby Sanchez (PIT) 8 16 .083 .188 .083 .271 12 1 0 0 0 2 0
Justin Morneau (PIT) 3 11 .000 .091 .000 .091 10 0 0 0 0 4 1

Cardinals batters in St. Louis versus the Pirates

Jon Jay LURVES hitting against the Bucs at home. Matt Carpenter is close to a .400 batter, and and Matt Holliday and Carlos Beltran both are over .300 hitters. Carpenter had nine extra base hits against the Bucs at home and Beltran slugged three doubles and two homers. It doesn't appear as if the Cards will miss Allen Craig here.
2013 Pirates @ St. Louis (min. 10 PA)
GPAAVGOBPSLUGOPSABH2B3BHRKBB
Jon Jay (STL)934.517.576.6901.265291550032
Matt Carpenter (STL)944.395.477.7111.188381552155
Matt Holliday (STL)940.333.450.424.874331130067
Carlos Beltran (STL)937.323.405.6131.018311030245
Pete Kozma (STL)932.250.344.286.62928710064
Allen Craig (STL)629.240.345.280.62525610043
Daniel Descalso (STL)517.214.353.286.63914310013
Shane Robinson (STL)511.200.273.300.57310210021
Matt Adams (STL)516.188.188.188.37516300030
Yadier Molina (STL)728.185.214.407.62227530141
David Freese (STL)829.160.241.320.56125410153

It looks like home field advantage for the Cards in this series

The Cardinals are not the Reds, they are a confident team (even with all their rookies) that won't be as surprised or rattled by the fabulous Pirates fans.

This season, the Cardinals have played well against everyone, including the Pirates, at home and they have the great Wainwright and they have him, perhaps twice, at home.

That's why I'm taking the red over the black and gold.