Why have the Cubs even entered the discussion in the NL Central race? Yes they have heated up at the right time but crucial elements are missing in action for both the Cardinals and the Pirates. A pivotal person on each team has finally derailed the torrid pace that St. Louis and Pittsburgh have been enjoying. Find out which player has gone missing and how they effect the fortunes of their clubs as playoff time approaches.
Carlos Martinez is Crashing
Workload over the course of your first full major league season is often overlooked as a factor to rail or fade a starter. In the case of Carlos Martinez, he no longer gets the benefit of the doubt when it comes to wagering on the Cardinals. All-Star appearance with a near 2.50 ERA is a distant memory. His last ten starts have seen opponents hitting over .300 against him. No matter how potent your own offense is, your team can not win much at all with the opponents running all over the base paths. With him barely pitching over one hundred innings over a period of time, the 164 innings he has now been asked to do is wearing on him. Giving him extra days of rest will not hurt St. Louis’ playoff chances and put the pep back into his step for the second season.
Pittsburgh Power Outage
APEX Baseball betting would be enthusiastic over the chances of the Pirates catching the Pirates but they have a more fundamental problem that plays on an every day basis. Josh Harrison is nowhere to be found. He is still producing but nowhere near the career making stats he posted in 2014. What Pittsburgh really covets is the element that has gone the driest. Power is all but gone from his game. If not for Jung Ho Kang’s emergence, the Pirates would be pushed down the pecking order beneath the Cubs. As it is right now, it looks like Pittsburgh and Chicago will square off in that one game wild card elimination game.