With just one game on Friday night we’re going to take a deep dive into the St. Louis Cardinals vs San Diego Padres NL Wild Card game 3.

Cardinals (Jack Flaherty | 4-3, 4.91) vs. Padres (Craig Stammen | 4-2, 5.63) 

The Cardinals head out to Petco Park tonight for Game 3 of the NL Wild Card series against the Padres.   Both teams enter this game in do-or-die mode after splitting the first two games of the series, with the Padres winning an epic Game 2 Thursday night. 

The Padres, on the brink of elimination, saw big hits from their best bats to force a game 3 in this series.  Wil Myers and Fernando Tatis Jr. smacked a pair of long balls — the first teammates to do so in the postseason since Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig — while Manny Machado added his own to help San Diego beat St. Louis, 11-9. 

The Cardinals will hope that tonight’s starter, Jack Flaherty, will fare better than Adam Wainwright did last night. 

Flaherty is coming off a rough start of his own, coughing up 3 earned runs in 5 short innings of work against the Brewers. He has played the Padres ust once, last season, and spun 5 scoreless while striking out 6. 

Meanwhile, the Padres finally announced their starter tonight just a few hours before game time.  Craig Stammen gets the nod for Game 3, but we are looking at a bullpen game here after Jayce Tingler said “we’ll go from there” when asked about Stammen’s start here. 

The right-hander is 4-2 this year with a 5.63 ERA 25.0 innings pitched. Considering he’s only gone two innings twice all season, I think Stammen is a quick in and out as a true opener this evening. 

As I stated in my writeup about the Dodgers v Brewers Game 1, I don’t like starts by committee, especially during the playoffs.   This is win or go home and I don’t believe in finding guys extra rest in these situations. I realize San Diego is dealing with their fair share of injuries, but there has to be a better option than Stammen to start Game 3.  

Having said that, I have very little faith in Jack Flaherty either.  He’s proven to be rather mediocre as far as playoff arms go and is also a good candidate for an early exit. Only once since the end of August has he made it six innings in a start and thrice failed to get out of the third in that same period of time. 

So far both of the games in this series have seen double digits and with the lack of quality pitching on both sides, I like another big scoring game tonight. 

The current total is at 9 but I’m seeing it creep to 9.5 at a lot of outlets after the news of Stammen’s start broke. 

I would also lean toward the Padres and their big bats to emerge from this game a ML victor and a great addition to the game total for a little game 3 parlay. 

Best Bet: OVER 9 runs -110