Mike Matheny announced today that Adam Wainwright and Lance Lynn will start games one and two, respectively, of the National League Divisional Series. The Cardinals are home in St. Louis where they await the winner of tonight’s NL Wild Card between the Pittsburgh Pirates and Cincinnati Reds. It represents a change in the order of the rotation as we enter the playoffs as Lynn had been scheduled to start on days preceding Wainwright’s turn in the rotation.
There’s been some surprise that the Cardinals announced their starters early, ahead of finding out who they will play in Thursday afternoon’s game one.
Wainwright, 32, finished up the season with a 19-9 record and a 2.94 ERA. He led the league in wins, starts (34), complete games (5), shutouts (2), innings pitched (241.2), and batters faced (856). He is the ace of the Cardinals rotation and they had previously moved him to make his last start on Saturday so that he could start game one on regular rest. Wainwright is 4-0 with a 1.80 ERA over his last five starts.
Based on his numbers this season, Wainwright would much prefer to see Pittsburgh. He is 1-0 in 3 starts against the Pirates this season with a 3.00 ERA in 21 innings. After two quality starts against the Reds in the first half of the season, Wainwright was shelled in back-to-back starts late in the season against them, inflating his numbers to a 1-3 record over 4 starts with a 7.77 ERA in 22 innings.
Lynn, 26, completed his first full season in the rotation. He finished up the season with a 15-10 record in 33 starts and a 3.97 ERA over 201.2 innings. Matheny said he selected Lynn for the game two start because of his home/road splits, which were quietly atrocious in 2013. He had a 2.82 ERA in Busch Stadium, but a 5.15 ERA on the road. That’s downright Jamie Garcia-ish. Lynn was 2-1 with a 2.12 ERA over his last five starts of the season.
Matchup-wise, based on the numbers Lynn would rather see the Reds. He was 3-1 with a 3.38 ERA over 5 starts and 32 innings against Cincinnati. Against Pittsburgh, he was 2-1 with a 5.60 ERA in 5 starts and 27.1 innings.
That leaves Shelby Miller probably in line for a game three start.