Guardians (22-28) vs. Cardinals (22-30) Game Preview | SAT 7:15 PM. EST. 5/27

May 27, 2023

Andy Billman

Game 2

3 things preview Guardians vs. Cardinals Game 2:

1 – Believe in Bibee 

Tanner Bibee is on the bump tonight for the Guards. Bibee has been solid in his last two starts going 13 2/3’s while giving up 3 runs with one win and one loss.  It is being reported that Triston McKenzie and Aaron Civale are getting close to returning, but even with them returning to the rotation, I don’t see Bibee going anywhere. 

2 – The Bell tolls 

Everybody in Cleveland fandom is ready to throw Josh Bell off the Guardians roster because of the frustration with his lack of offensive production.  Bell has not hit a home run in the month of May, has only scored seven runs all season, and only has 21 RBIs to boot.  With that said, he is on-base percentage is 4th on the team, and his hits are 5th.  Yes, Bell is struggling for sure and needs to do better, but on this 2023 Cleveland Guardians roster, he is “par for the course.” His numbers are down, but similar struggles to everybody else. 

3 – Back to back

If the Guardians win tonight, it will be their first back-to-back victories in two weeks.  The last time Cleveland won back-to-back was May 13th and 14th over the Angels. 

Guardians Notes

Considerable attention has been directed toward the struggling offense of the Cleveland Guardians, and rightfully so. As the reigning champions of the American League Central, their scoring average of merely 3.46 runs per game places them at the bottom of the league in runs, hits, home runs, slugging, and on-base percentage.

However, despite their below-.500 record, the Guardians find themselves in a middling position within the standings of the lackluster Central division. One possible explanation for this could be attributed to Cleveland’s underrated bullpen, which has received little acclaim. Fortunately, this bullpen is well-rested and prepared as the Guardians gear up to face the St. Louis Cardinals on Saturday night, marking the second game of their three-game series.

When it comes to bullpen performance, Cleveland boasts the fifth-best earned run average (ERA) in the major leagues, standing at an impressive 3.28. Additionally, they have conceded a mere 139 hits, which places them second only to the Houston Astros in this category.

Guards Stats and Insights


  • Bibee and his team have a record of 2-3-0 against the spread when he starts.
  • The right-hander’s last start was on Sunday when he tossed six innings while giving up two earned runs on seven hits in a matchup with the New York Mets.
  • Bibee has pitched five or more innings in two straight games and will look to extend that streak.
  • Bibee’s team has a record of 2-1 this season when he starts and they are the favorite on the moneyline.
  • Bibee’s team is 2-3 when he starts this season.
  • Games Bibee has started this season hit over two times in five chances.


  • The Guardians are 4-2 this season in games when they crush two or more bombs.
  • Cleveland has gone 3-4 in its seven games this season with at least five extra-base hits.
  • The club has put up at least eight hits 23 times this season and has an 11-12 record in those games.
  • Cleveland is 9-3 in games this season when it scored at least five runs.
  • The Guardians are 8-8 in games this season when they have drawn at least five walks.

Cardinal Notes

The Cardinals are currently facing the challenge of finding players who feel “refreshed” due to the demanding schedule. Manager Oliver Marmol has a limited number of players who haven’t been under immense strain, having played 15 games in as many days since their last day off on May 11. Despite this, St. Louis has managed to achieve a record of 10-5 during this period.

Following the two remaining games in Cleveland, the Cardinals will return home to play two games against the Kansas City Royals. Fortunately, they will finally get the rare luxury of having two consecutive days off starting on May 31.

While everyone on the team is feeling the effects of playing 19 games in a row. They are aware of the several games they have to endure before their much-needed rest but remain determined to persevere. The main issue they face is fatigue, which impacts their performance more than anything else.

On Saturday, right-hander Jack Flaherty (3-4, 5.29 ERA) will be the starting pitcher for the Cardinals, facing the impressive rookie Tanner Bibee (1-1, 3.18) of the Guardians. It will be Bibee’s sixth start in his MLB career and his first time facing St. Louis.

Flaherty has previously encountered the Guardians twice in his seven-year career, both times in St. Louis. Unfortunately, he holds a record of 0-1 with a 5.00 ERA against Cleveland and has surrendered three home runs in nine innings against them.

Cardinal Stats and Insights


  • Flaherty gets the start for the Cardinals, his 11th of the season. He is 3-4 with a 5.29 ERA and 54 strikeouts in 51 2/3 innings pitched.
  • In his most recent appearance on Sunday against the Los Angeles Dodgers, the righty threw 4 2/3 innings, allowing three earned runs while surrendering four hits.
  • Flaherty has seven starts this campaign where he pitched five or more innings.
  • The Cardinals have been the moneyline underdog in four of Flaherty’s starts this season, and they went 3-1 in those games.
  • In Flaherty’s 10 starts, his team is 6-4.
  • Flaherty has had eight starts that sportsbooks set a total for this season, and seven of those outings finished over the total.


  • They have won 22 of the 28 games this season in which they hit two or more home runs.
  • In 22 games with five or more extra-base hits this season, it has a record of 20-2.
  • They have a record of 28-14 this season when collecting eight or more base hits in a game.
  • St. Louis has won 25 of its 30 games this season in which it scored more than four runs.
  • They have won seven of their 18 games this season in which they’ve drawn more than four free passes.

Final Thoughts/Pick

Both St. Louis and Cleveland have struggled out of the gates as both teams have been very inconsistent this season. Bibee has been a bright spot for the Guardians in his rookie season and I do expect him to have success against the Cardinals here. However, Cleveland struggles to get any offense going as getting on base has an issue for the Guardians. Although Flaherty has been hit hard as of late, he should be able to have success against the Guardians lineup which strikes out a ton and doesn’t walk much. As for St. Louis, their lineup has some power hitters and a great offense that should be able to get timely hits and get the win. The Guardians are also a brutal 10-14 at home.

Our Pick: Take the Guardians to win 5-4.

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