St. Louis Cardinals (26-20) vs Pittsburgh Pirates (26-21)Date : 05/25/2018
Time : 7:05 PM
Location : PNC Park
Pick, Prediction, & Preview:
St. Louis Cardinals vs Pittsburgh Pirates
The Pittsburgh Pirates are set to return back home to PNC Park where they will open up a 3 game series against their NL Central rival in the St. Louis Cardinals, first pitch is slated for 7:05 PM ET. Before this series, these two teams met for a three-game series from 4/27 to 4/29 where the Pirates were able to sweep St. Louis.
St. Louis Cardinals's Latest Performance :
Solid Outing Results In L
The St. Louis Cardinals are stuck in the middle of a stacked NL Central but still sit less than 2 games out of 1st place so as you would expect, the Cardinals want to make sure they secure every possible win especially against bad teams. The Cardinals failed to do just that in their recent series against the Kansas City Royals as they were shutout all game by one of the worst pitching teams in the MLB in a 5-1 loss. The Cardinals elected to start their 24-year-old righty Luke Weaver who as you could expect has been up and down in only his 2nd-year in the pros. Weaver may have given up 1 too many runs as he was responsible for 3 earned runs but the former first-round pick was dealing as he struck out 8 guys in the 7 innings he appeared in. Weaver has been fairly solid for the Cardinals as a young arm but the right-handed starter needs to keep his ERA down as through his first 10 starts he has a 4.31. Greg Holland was once again a failed experiment for the Cardinals out of the bullpen as the 7th-year veteran gave up 2 earned runs without ever recording a single out. Holland has struggled in his first year in St. Louis as the right-handed reliever now has over a 10.00 ERA in his last 7 appearances. The Cardinals were able to record 11 hits on the offensive end but they were only able to squeeze out 1 run which came untraditionally. Jose Martinez was able to steal home in the bottom of the 1st inning as him and Marcell Ozuna executed a double steal. Marcell Ozuna had a great game from the plate as the newly acquired superstar went 3 for 4 from the plate which was much needed as the OF is only batting .185 in his last 7 games.
Pittsburgh Pirates's Latest Performance :
The Pittsburgh Pirates started off the season with a commanding lead in the NL Central as they put together solid pitching and hitting to propel themselves on top of the division, but as of recent the Pirates have been as bad as any team in the MLB as they have lost 4 straight games against last-place teams. The Pirates were not able to open their latest series on a high note as they were roughed up by the Cincinnati Reds, 7-2. The Pirates had one of their best pitchers on the mound in Jameson Taillon but the former first-round pick has endured a slump of his own after starting the year 2-0. Taillon started in his 9th game of the season and it didn’t go as planned as the 26-year-old gave up 6 earned runs on 8 hits in 6 innings of work. Taillon has not been able to figure out what has gone wrong as his last 7 starts have resulted in a 0-3 record and a 6.97 ERA. All things considered, the bullpen was much better in this 5/22 matchup as the combination of Goerge Kontos and Tyler Glasnow gave up only 1 hit as they struck out 4 guys in the 2 innings they appeared in. The Pirates may have been nothing special on the offensive end as they gave up 2 earned runs on 6 hits but they have continued to find a bright spot in their bats. Rookie Austin Meadows has been on fire ever since he entered the MLB on 5/18 as the former-first round pick hit yet another HR in the top of the 7th inning which has accounted for his 2nd career HR in as many as 4 games.
How St. Louis Cardinals & Pittsburgh Pirates Matchup.
Vegas Odds, Offshore Odds, & Odds ATS:
St. Louis is 26-20, 11-10 on the road.
Pittsburgh is 26-21, 15-9 at home.
In-Depth Analysis of each team:
The probable starting pitchers for this matchup is as follows: John Gant (1-1, 4.67 ERA) for the St. Louis Cardinals vs. Joe Musgrove (7-8, 4.77 ERA in 2017) for the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Gant last started on 5/19 against the Phillies where he went 4.1 innings giving up 3 earned runs on 4 hits in a ND.
Musgrove is set to appear in his first game of the 2018 season as the right-handed pitcher has been held out due to injury.
Pittsburgh ranks in the top 5 in runs scored while St. Louis ranks in the top 15.
St. Louis ranks in the top 5 in team ERA while Pittsburgh ranks in the top 15.
Against The Spread Selection: St. Louis Cardinals
My reason for the pick :
Both these two teams know how important every series is against NL Central opponents as the race for the top 3 spots looks to be tight throughout the season. The first thing that has me leaning towards the Cardinals is the starting pitching matchup as the Pirates are throwing Musgrove who hasn’t pitched in months. The last time I backed a first time pitcher off injury (Vargas in NY) I got absolutely shelled as looking good in bullpen sessions is a lot different than in gameplay. Beside Greg Holland, the Cardinals bullpen has been really good as they are one of the main contributors to the top 5 ERA and if Gant can keep the Pirates off the board the bullpen should have no problem shutting out a slumping Pittsburgh team.
Betting trends for St. Louis Cardinals:
- St. Louis is 14-7 against NL Central opponents this season.
- The under is 24-17-4 in all games this season.
Betting trends for Pittsburgh Pirates:
- Pittsburgh is 4-0 as the home underdog this season.
- The over is 15-8-3 after a win this season.