Phillies Opposition Roadblock: St. Louis Cardinals

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Jun 18, 2017; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia Phillies center fielder Odubel Herrera (37) leans on the outfield wall after watching a solo home run by Arizona Diamondbacks center fielder Reymond Fuentes (not pictured) during the tenth inning at Citizens Bank Park. The Diamondbacks defeated the Phillies 5-4 in 10 innings. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports
Jun 18, 2017; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia Phillies center fielder Odubel Herrera (37) leans on the outfield wall after watching a solo home run by Arizona Diamondbacks center fielder Reymond Fuentes (not pictured) during the tenth inning at Citizens Bank Park. The Diamondbacks defeated the Phillies 5-4 in 10 innings. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports /
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Jun 14, 2017; St. Louis, MO, USA; St. Louis Cardinals starting pitcher Mike Leake (8) pitches during the first inning against the Milwaukee Brewers at Busch Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports
Jun 14, 2017; St. Louis, MO, USA; St. Louis Cardinals starting pitcher Mike Leake (8) pitches during the first inning against the Milwaukee Brewers at Busch Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports /

The Pitcher: Mike Leake

Honestly, I would be lying if I said either of the other two pitchers even remotely scared me in comparison to what Carlos Martinez is capable of doing. However, we spent our preview of the last series on the righty, so how about I focus our attention elsewhere?

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Mike Leake has been good for a majority of the season. While he has struggled a bit in his last few starts, he was at the top of the league in ERA through his first nine. Leake was incredibly successful over his first six starts. He went a minimum of six innings in every one of those starts and gave up three earned or less in every one.

In his first six starts, Leake walked only nine guys. In his last four starts, he has walked six hitters. The 29-year-old is still on pace to come in under his career marks in WHIP, ERA, and walks. He is also going to eclipse his total strikeout numbers if he stays on the current pace.

A group of Phillies have multiple hits against the righty. Maikel Franco is currently 5-9 against Leake, while Odubel Herrera and Howie Kendrick both have three hits against him. In Philly, he has only made four appearances and has not yielded incredible success. He has a career 4.55 ERA in 27.2 innings pitched.

By the time hitters see him for the third time in a game, they have much more success. The first time through the order, Leake has success to the tune of .250/.297/.391, but by the third time around, hitters improve greatly (.293/.335/.490).

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In his eighth year, Leake has continued to use his six pitch repertoire to change from innings eater to success story. He is mainly a sinker-ball pitcher, who occasionally mixes in fastball, slider, change, and knuckle-curve. He gets most of his strikeouts off his fastball-slider combo. He is not someone who is going to strikeout a ton of hitters and uses his sinker to induce groundball outs.

While not the dominant pitcher Martinez is, Leake is indeed the type of pitcher who can cause the Phillies a ton of trouble.

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