St. Louis Cardinals (13-9) vs Pittsburgh Pirates (12-10)Date : 04/27/2018
Time : 7:05 PM
Location : PNC Park
Pick, Prediction, & Preview:
St. Louis Cardinals vs Pittsburgh Pirates
The Pittsburgh Pirates will open another home series this time with it being against NL Central rival in the St. Louis Cardinals in game 1 of a 3 game series. This is the first matchup for these two teams as they will see each other for 5 more series in 2018.
St. Louis Cardinals's Latest Performance :
Cardinals Picking Up Steam
The NL Central is so deep that the 4th place team could be as close to 1st place as the 2nd place team which we saw already in the early going as the Cardinals were able to climb to the top of the standings with just a few wins. The St. Louis Cardinals are another one of those rosters that aren’t made of up 4 all-stars but the team all effectively does their part which translates into wins. The Cardinals have been good in the early going and will only get better as they get to welcome back their 6-year 3B Jedd Gyorko who is another effective bat to add to the lineup. Gyorko has been solid the last 2 years for the Cardinals as he has combined for 50 HRs and 126 RBIs which will be a great addition to a team that sits outside the top 10 in runs scored. The Cardinals want to find the bat of their leadoff hitter in 11-year veteran Dexter Fowler who is not having a good season from the plate. Dexter Fowler has been a high .200 batting average guy over the course of his career, but through Fowlers first 20 games he sits at a sub .200 batting average with a .192. Another guy who has struggled from the plate is veteran Matt Carpenter who also sits at the top of the batting order but his batting average says otherwise as he is sitting worse than Fowler with a .167.
Pittsburgh Pirates's Latest Performance :
Production Spread Out
When the Pirates traded away Andrew McCutchen the Pirates had to figure out where their offense would come from this season, and although they are a top 10 offensive team they don’t have one guy who has truly taken over the stat sheet. The Pittsburgh Pirates enter this series with 11 guys who have homered at least once this season as Gregory Polanco heads the group with 5 on the season. The only starter who has not made a big impact on the offensive end of things is SS Jordy Mercer who has yet to homer in 2018 and only has 5 RBIs. Mercer has never been a big bat for the Pirates over his past 6 seasons with the team, but Mercer is coming off a career year where he hit 14 HRs and 58 RBIs. A guy on the offensive end who has not been a great hitter in years past but has found a little pop in his bat is C Francisco Cervelli who has been in the MLB for 11 seasons now but has yet to crack double-digit HRs as his career high is 7 HRs in 2015. Cervelli hasn’t necessarily put up crazy numbers in 2018, but he does have 2 HRs and 12 RBIs which is already better offensive production than most of his MLB seasons. Although having scoring spread out throughout your lineup isn’t a bad thing the Pirates will want to find a guy who they can rely on to be their designated slugger whether it’s Polanco or Marte.
How St. Louis Cardinals & Pittsburgh Pirates Matchup.
Vegas Odds, Offshore Odds, & Odds ATS:
St. Louis is 13-9, 8-4 on the road.
Pittsburgh is 12-10, 5-4 at home.
In-Depth Analysis of each team:
The probable starting pitchers for this matchup are as follows: Miles Mikolas (3-0, 3.46 ERA) for the St. Louis Cardinals vs. Steven Brault (2-1, 4.44 ERA) for the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Mikolas last started on 4/22 against the Reds where he went 7 innings giving up 1 earned run on 5 hits in a W.
Brault last started on 4/21 against the Phillies where he went 5.1 innings giving up 2 earned runs on 2 hits in a ND.
Pittsburgh sits in the top 10 in runs scored while St. Louis sits right outside the top 10.
St. Louis sits in the top 10 in team ERA while Pittsburgh sits in the bottom 15.
Against The Spread Selection: St. Louis Cardinals
My reason for the pick :
Mikolas has been excellent for the Cardinals all year and with the Cardinals heating up and the Pirates trending in the opposite direction I don’t see how St. Louis doesn’t win this ballgame on the road. St. Louis has the better bats throughout their lineup and with Gyorko being healthy again it makes this already solid Cardinals team that much better.
Betting trends for St. Louis Cardinals:
- St. Louis is 11-4 against NL Central opponents this season.
- The under is 5-1 as the road favorite this season.
Betting trends for Pittsburgh Pirates:
- Pittsburgh is 4-8 in night games this season.
- The over is 9-1-2 after a win this season.