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Series preview: Guardians vs. Cardinals

Noted bird killers welcome Cardinals to Cleveland

MLB: MAY 23 White Sox at Guardians Photo by Frank Jansky/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Was Will Brennan sending a warning for the upcoming Cardinals series (and Orioles, for that matter) when he hit and killed a bird attempting to play shortstop last week? Probably not, but hopefully it’s an omen for the Guardians’ first sweep of the season.

Entering the season, the Cardinals were projected to win the NL Central with 86.9 wins, with a small chance to win the World Series (4.9%). Now six weeks into the season, despite their losing record, FanGraphs still tags them with the highest World Series odds in the NL Central (2.9%), but they are projected to lose the division to the Brewers. For some perspective, the Guardians’ World Series odds dropped from 2.0% preseason to 0.4% now.

Both teams are off to an extremely underwhelming start, to say the least, but it’s easier to see a path out of the death spiral for the Cardinals. Even with their struggles en route to a 23-29 record they have Paul Goldschmidt with a 153 wRC+, Lars Nootbar at 123, and Nolan Arenado finally coming to life with a 12-game hitting streak earlier in May.

St. Louis pitching has been abysmal, though, with no regular starter sporting an ERA under 4.23. They’ve promoted one of their top pitching prospects, left-hander Matthew Liberatore, to provide some kind of help on the mound. After a rough rookie campaign in 2022, he will get his second start of the season, and 12th of his career, against the Guards tonight.

The Cards have not officially listed starters for Saturday and Sunday yet, but Roster Resource projects right-hander Jack Flaherty tomorrow and another lefty, Jordan Montgomery, on Sunday.

Team at a glance

  • Record: 23-29
  • Runs scored: 263
  • Run differential: +14
  • Last 10: 6-4
  • Slash: .261/.334/.439
  • wOBA: .336
  • wRC+: 114
  • ERA: 4.53
  • SIERA: 4.25
  • K-BB%: 12.9%

Projected starters

Friday, May 26, 7:10 p.m. ET: LHP Matthew Liberatore vs. RHP Shane Bieber
Saturday, May 27, 7:15 p.m. ET: TBD (RHP Jack Flaherty*) vs. RHP Tanner Bibee
Sunday, May 28, 1:40 p.m. ET: TBD (LHP Jordan Montgomery*) vs. RHP Hunter Gaddis

*projected pitchers via FanGraphs’ Roster Resource



How many games will the Guardians win against the Cardinals?

This poll is closed

  • 10%
    (10 votes)
  • 20%
    (19 votes)
  • 43%
    (41 votes)
  • 26%
    (25 votes)
95 votes total Vote Now