I-70 Series: Low scores likely with Yadi and Salvy behind the plate

BY foxsports • June 12, 2015

The St. Louis Cardinals and Kansas City Royals have been enduring offensive lulls of late, but there are two more reasons to expect low-scoring games when the teams face off this weekend in the resumption of the I-70 Series at Busch Stadium: Yadier Molina and Salvador Perez.

Savvy catchers are as important to a pitching staff as the hurlers themselves, and the Cardinals and Royals have two of the best in St. Louis' Molina and Kansas City's Perez. Whether it's calling the right pitch against the right batter at the right time or shutting down a running game with their cannon arms, the two All-Stars play a huge role in limiting an opponent's offense.

In fact, among major league backstops who have caught at least 35 games this season, Molina and Perez rank one-two in lowest catcher ERA this season.

LOWEST CATCHER ERA IN MLB IN 2015

Catcher Team ERA
Yadier Molina
St. Louis Cardinals 2.61
Salvador Perez Kansas City Royals 3.27
Yasmani Grandal Los Angeles Dodgers 3.29
Mike Zunino Seattle Mariners 3.32
Francisco Cervelli Pittsburgh Pirates 3.44

More statistical notes of interest from STATS LLC:

• The Cardinals are off to a 39-21 start this season, the best record in Major League Baseball and the club's best start through 60 games in over seven decades. The 2005 Cardinals (who lost to the Astros in the National League Championship Series) and the 2013 Cardinals (who lost to the Red Sox in the World Series) also started 39-21.

• The Cardinals enjoy an obvious home-field advantage with their many sellouts and annual attendance figures soaring above 3 million. Their .614 winning percentage at home since 2008 is testament to that. But one team has enjoyed an even better winning percentage at Busch during that span -- Kansas City. The Royals are 10-6 (.625) in St. Louis since 2008 and have won three straight and four of the last five games in St. Louis.

• Both St. Louis and Kansas City got the day off Thursday -- something that hasn't exactly boded well for either club this season.

ROYALS AND CARDINALS WITH A DAY OFF BETWEEN GAMES IN 2015

  Kansas City Royals St. Louis Cardinals
Record following off days
5-4 (.556) 3-3 (.500)
Record in all other games 29-19 (.604)
36-18 (.667)

• Royals ace Yordano Ventura has fared better against NL teams than his more familiar AL opponents in 2015.

YORDANO VENTURA VS. EACH LEAGUE IN 2015

Statistic Vs. National League
Vs. American League
Starts 3 8
Record 1-1 2-4
ERA 2.14 5.82
Opponents batting average
.181 .285
WHIP 0.76 1.48

• Cardinals starter Jaime Garcia has pitched well enough to win each of his four starts since coming back from shoulder surgery. The Cardinals, however, have failed to score a single run in three of those four outings. No other St. Louis starter has endured as many shutouts. The Cardinals have been shut out twice when Lance Lynn pitched and once when John Lackey started.

• Cardinals shortstop Jhonny Peralta will be playing in his 1,600th major league game Friday night. He leads St. Louis with 10 home runs, and since coming to the National League in 2014, no MLB shortstop has gone deep more times. Peralta has 31 homers in his season-plus in St. Louis, and he is followed by Washington's Ian Desmond (29), Colorado's Troy Tulowitzki (28) and the Dodgers' Jimmy Rollins (24) in home runs while playing shortstop during that span.


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