It wasn't so long ago that the St. Louis Cardinals looked like one of the top teams in baseball, but it sure does seem like it. After failing to score a run in their first two games against the New York Mets, the Cardinals find themselves not only 3.5 games behind the first place Cincinnati Reds, but also a half-game above the Pittsburgh Pirates for third place as St. Louis struggles to say above .500.
The Cardinals will be looking to get their first run in over 48 hours off of Mets starter Jonathan Niese, who is 3-2 with a 4.55 ERA on the season. But Niese has been better this season than that ERA would indicate: his expected Fielding Independent Pitching is only 3.75, and both his WHIP (1.32) and his BAA (.230) are lower than what they were in the last two seasons.
On the hill for St. Louis is Jake Westbrook, who has posted a solid 3.84 ERA on the season but who has also given up 11 earned runs in 8.2 innings over his last two starts. In one start at Citi Field last year, Westbrook gave up four hits and two earned runs in eight innings.
Game date/time: Sunday, June 3, 2012, 7:05 p.m. CT
Location: Citi Field, New York, N.Y.
For updates, stay tuned to SB Nation St. Louis. Visit Viva El Birdos for more in-depth coverage of the St. Louis Cardinals. For more general baseball coverage, head over to Baseball Nation.