Reds vs. Cardinals: Pitching preview, prediction, and more

CINCINNATI, OHIO - APRIL 03: Benches clear after Nick Castellanos #2 of the Cincinnati Reds slides safely into home base to score on a wild pitch. (Photo by Emilee Chinn/Getty Images)
CINCINNATI, OHIO - APRIL 03: Benches clear after Nick Castellanos #2 of the Cincinnati Reds slides safely into home base to score on a wild pitch. (Photo by Emilee Chinn/Getty Images) /
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Tommy Edman #19 of the St. Louis Cardinals steals second base against Kyle Farmer.
ST LOUIS, MO – SEPTEMBER 12: Tommy Edman #19 of the St. Louis Cardinals steals second base against Kyle Farmer. (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images) /

The Cardinals continue to defy their numbers.

What does arguably the National League’s worst bullpen and a below-average offense get you? If you’re the St. Louis Cardinals, it leaves you contending with the Chicago Cubs for NL Central supremacy.

As bad as the Reds’ bullpen has been, there’s a case to be made the Cardinals’ pen has been even worse. Entering play on Wednesday, Redbird relievers have walked a league-high 125 opposing hitters while their 1.45 WHIP places them 12th in the senior circuit.

Lefty Tyler Webb has been especially horrendous when called upon by manager Mike Shildt. Tossing 15.1 innings in 21 appearances, Webb has allowed a staggering 17 walks and 19 hits while compiling a 12.33 ERA. Webb almost makes Amir Garrett seem reliable. Almost.

What about the St. Louis offense? Again, an underwhelming unit. Their .231 team batting average and .303 OBP marks are both below the NL average. However, what offense they are receiving is coming from unexpected sources.

Second baseman Tommy Edman is putting together an All-Star worthy season. Slashing .279/.333/.403 with 10 stolen bases, his 2.3 bWAR is good enough for fourth among all NL position players.

Outfielder Tyler O’Neill has been crushing the ball. The 26-year-old right-handed slugger leads the Cardinals with a dozen home runs while slugging at an impressive .619 rate as play began yesterday.