One Night Only: Game Previews for September 23rd

The Pixies’ 1987 ode to the Allen Craig/Matt Holliday situation.

Chicago NL (4) at St. Louis (3) | 20:15 ET
Obligatory Playoff-Race Note
The Cardinals of St. Louis are currently 2.0 games behind the Braves of Atlanta with six games remaining, giving them (i.e. the Cards) about a 24% chance of making the playoffs, per Cool Standings.

Something You May Know
Something you may know is that, with Matt Holliday (hand) currently out, that Allen Craig has been playing regularly in his (i.e. Holliday’s) absence.

Something You May Not Know
Craig, who’s hitting .312/.359/.529 (.347 BABIP), 150 wRC+ in 207 plate apperances this season, actually has a better rest-of-season ZiPS projection than Holliday.

Something You May Not Know, Part II
Here are those lines, specifically.

Craig: .286/.333/.571 (.300 BABIP), .387 wOBA

Holliday: .300/.364/.500 (.333 BABIP), .376 wOBA

One Caveat Regarding Those Projections
One caveat (of the probably many extant caveats) regarding those projections is that Craig has been protected from righties a little bit. Only two-thirds of the pitchers he’s faced are righties; for an everyday player, that figure would probably be above 80%.

MLB.TV Audio Feed: Cubs Television.

Two Other Games
Toronto (6) at Tampa Bay (7) | 19:10 ET
This game would feature two of the game’s most excellent young players in Desmond Jennings and Brett Lawrie — had the latter not selfishly broken his middle finger, that is.

MLB.TV Audio Feed: Blue Jays Radio.

Atlanta (5) at Washington (5) | 19:05 ET
Stephen Strasburg is probably not the precise pitcher whom the Atlanta Braves (up by two games in the NL Wild Card) would care to face.

MLB.TV Audio Feed: Nationals Television.

Also Playing
Here’s the complete schedule for all of today’s games, with our very proprietary watchability (NERD) scores for each one. Pitching probables and game times aggregated from and RotoWire. The average NERD Game Score for today is 5.8.

The following Game Scores include the new and improved playoff-odds adjustment, which you can learn about in your brain by clicking here.

Away SP Tm. Gm. Tm. SP Home Time
Tim Hudson ATL 6 5 8 5 10 WAS Strasburg* 19:05
Alfredo Simon BAL 5 2 4 2 5 DET Rick Porcello 19:05
Jon Lester BOS 6 9 6 10 3 NYA Freddy Garcia 19:05
Edinson Volquez CIN 7 5 5 5 6 PIT Jeff Locke* 19:05
Carl Pavano MIN 4 0 4 4 7 CLE Justin Masterson 19:05
Cole Hamels PHI 9 3 7 3 9 NYN R.A. Dickey 19:10
Brandon Morrow TOR 10 6 10 7 9 TB David Price 19:10
Drew Pomeranz* COL 8 6 6 4 6 HOU Brett Myers 20:05
Anthony Vasquez SEA 3 1 4 9 6 TEX Matt Harrison 20:05
Chris Volstad FL 7 8 7 8 9 MIL Yovani Gallardo 20:10
Bruce Chen KC 2 10 4 2 7 CHA Zach Stewart 20:10
Ryan Dempster CHN 7 4 10 3 8 STL Chris Carpenter 20:15
Matt Cain SF 6 3 4 9 2 AZ Joe Saunders 21:40
Ted Lilly LAN 5 5 3 6 2 SD Wade LeBlanc 22:05
Gio Gonzalez OAK 6 1 5 5 5 LAA Jered Weaver 22:05

NERD represents an attempt to anticipate the watchability of a game for the baseballing enthusiast.
To learn more about Pitcher NERD, click here and scroll down a little.
To learn more about latest Team NERD, click here.
To learn how Game NERD Scores are calculated, click here.
* = Fewer than 20 IP, NERD at discretion of very handsome author.

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