St. Louis Cardinals (26-21) vs Pittsburgh Pirates (27-21)Date : 05/26/2018
Time : 7:05 PM ET
Location : PNC Park
Pick, Prediction, & Preview:
St. Louis Cardinals vs Pittsburgh Pirates
The NL Central rivals will face off in a three-game series, the Pirates and the Cards are only separated by a single game in the win column. This will be the second meeting between the two teams this season, in the first meeting the Pirates ended up sweeping the Cards and had one shutout win against them. The Pirates will be hoping for a similar outcome in the second meeting.
St. Louis Cardinals's Latest Performance :
The Cardinals are coming off a series loss at home against the Royals after shutting them out in the series opener, this tells us anything can happen in baseball it’s not about how you start the series but it how you finish with that two losses the Cards drop to 3rd place in the NL Central just behind the Pirates. They are 11-10 on the road this season. The series against the Pirates will be an important as they look to take back the second spot in the division. The pitching for the Cards these last few games haven’t been great the Cards bullpen gave up 3 runs in the 10th inning. The Cards are dealing with a slump right now and hitting the road would allow the players to clear their mind and play better in the next series against the Pirates.
Francisco Pena went 2 for 4, he drove in a run with a second-inning double, then reached on an infield single in the fifth. He has been doing a great job filling in for an injured Yadier Molina (groin) behind the plate. He is slashing .275/.315/.373 with a homer and an RBI.
The Cards will need Jose Martinez to play on the road as he is the team leader in RBIs at 30 on the season. He is currently on a 4 game hitting streak although his last homer came on May 18th against the Phillies. The Cards will be hoping that he could break out of his slump and rediscover his form at the start of the season. He is slashing .312/.385/.471 with 5 homers on the year.
Pitching for the Cards will be Jack Flaherty. He is coming off his first win of the season, will pitch against the Pirates. The right-hander went 7 2/3 innings against the Phillies on Sunday, logging 13 strikeouts and allowing one run. He now owns an ERA of 2.31 while striking out 27 this season. He has a spot in the Cards’ rotation locked down.
Pittsburgh Pirates's Latest Performance :
The Pirates will be back at PNC Park for a 6 game homestand beginning Friday. The homestand opens with a three-game series against the Cardinals. They were able to snap a 4 game losing streak with a series win over the Reds. The Pirates are 15-9 when playing at home, they will face an NL Central rival Cardinals who is just one ranking below them. The Pirates are having a really good season this year they are 27-21 on the season, coming into this series they are rank 7th in batting scoring a total of 232 runs this season. The Pirates can’t afford to have the bullpen giving up 3 runs in the 8th inning against a good team like the Cardinals.
Josh Harrison in his last outing came through in the 12th for the Pirates scoring the winning run, he went 4 for 6. His first three hits were singles but he saved the best for last. He came to the plate in the 12th with a runner on first and lined a triple to right field that plated the go-ahead run. After missing a month with a fractured hand. He has a .319 batting average with one homer, seven RBI, and 13 runs in 17 games. He will need to play well for the Pirates to secure that second spot in the NL Central division.
Corey Dickerson went 4-for-5 and drove in a run during a 5-4 extra-inning win. He knocked in Josh Harrison with a single to center in the fifth inning. He also doubled and walked in the ballgame and made just one out in 12 innings. He is slashing .316/.356/.500 with five homers and 30 RBI in 44 games. Jordy Mercer ran from the first plate all the way to home to avoiding the tag to score the run that ultimately ended the Pirates 4 game skid.
Pitching for the Pirates will be Trevor Williams. He gave up four runs in six innings while striking out five against his hometown Padres on Sunday. After recording five quality starts in April, Williams has logged just one in his four May outings. He has a 2.97 ERA at home this season.
How St. Louis Cardinals & Pittsburgh Pirates Matchup.
Vegas Odds, Offshore Odds, & Odds ATS:
Pirates are 4-0 in their last 4 home games vs. a team with a winning road record.
Cardinals are 11-4 in their last 15 vs. National League Central.
Against The Spread Selection: St. Louis Cardinals
My reason for the pick :
The Cardinals should win the middle game at PNC Park as Jack Flaherty will continue his impressive pitching as he will seek for his 2nd win of the season he will look to shut down the Pirates batters.
The Pirates bullpen will struggle it should be something that the Pirates should try to fix immediately. When playing a good team it will be hard to come back if you give up runs late in the game.
Cardinals to take game 2 on the roads over the Pirates.
Betting trends for St. Louis Cardinals:
- Cardinals are 3-7 in their last 10 road games.
Betting trends for Pittsburgh Pirates:
- Pirates are 10-4 in their last 14 home games.