The St. Louis Cardinals look to extend their lead for the top National League wild-card spot on Thursday when they host the division-rival Pittsburgh Pirates in a series finale on Thursday. The Cards are slight MLB odds favorites in matchup of young pitchers.
How to Bet Pirates at Cardinals MLB Odds & Game InfoMLB.tv Radio: Pittsburgh / St. Louis Opening MLB Odds: Cardinals -130, Pirates +120 (8)
- Overcast: 25°C/77°F
- Humidity: 77%
- Precipitation: 9%
- Wind: 6 mph E
- Cloud Cover: 80%
- Type of Stadium: Open
Why Bet on Pittsburgh?The Bucs are just playing out the string. They did just activate Jordy Mercer off of the 10-day disabled list, and he started Wednesday. The 31-year-old shortstop had been out since August 15 with a strain in his left calf. Mercer owns a .726 OPS along with six homers and 37 RBIs. To make room, the club designated infielder Sean Rodriguez for assignment. No big loss there. Meanwhile, second baseman Josh Harrison was is not in the lineup for Wednesday’s game. Harrison was able to come off the bench on Tuesday despite the left hamstring injury, and it’s possible that he’ll be available off the bench again. He owns a .257/.301/.365 line with three steals and seven homers over 344 plate appearances in 2018. There’s some talk he could be traded by the Friday waiver deadline. Harrison has cleared revocable trade waivers. This means that the Pirates are free to talk about a possible trade with any team. Pittsburgh hasn’t missed Harrison as his replacement, Adam Frazier, has been red hot. Since being recalled from Indianapolis on July 25, Frazier is hitting .337 (29-for-86) with 11 doubles, four homers, 17 RBI and a .988 OPS in 27 games. Dating back to July 7, the Pirates rank second among National League teams and third in the Major Leagues with a 3.29 ERA (402.2ip/147er). The only teams with a better ERA in that time are Oakland (3.05) and the Dodgers (3.25). All-Star closer Felipe Vázquez has converted each of his last 17 save opportunities and has set the single-season club record for most saves by a left-handed pitcher (27) It’s Joe Musgrove (5-7, 3.56) here. Musgrove didn’t factor into the decision in Friday’s 7-6 extra-innings loss to the Brewers, giving up four runs on six hits over four innings while striking out four. He yielded two-run homers in the first inning to Christian Yelich and Mike Moustakas, but despite his recovery over the next three frames, Musgrove got the early hook after only 61 pitches (42 strikes) when Pittsburgh needed a pinch hitter with two outs and the bases loaded in the top of the fifth. It was his shortest outing since June 23.
Why Bet on St. Louis?The Cardinals have won nine consecutive series posting a 22-7 record (.759), their longest streak since 2009 when they took 10 straight (Aug. 7-Sept. 9), running off a 25-6 record (.806) during the stretch. The Cardinals are very short-handed right now. On Tuesday, the team put 2B Kolten Wong on the 10-day disabled list, retroactive to August 26, with a left hamstring strain. Patrick Wisdom was recalled to take his spot on the active roster. The Cardinals will use a committee at second. Tuesday night, usual third baseman Jedd Gyorko exited against the Pirates with discomfort in his left groin. Gyorko appeared to suffer the injury while breaking out of the batter’s box on a ground-rule double in the bottom of the eighth inning. He was placed on the DL Wednesday. Wisdom will likely get regular starts at third base. Some good news is coming, just not for this game: outfielder Marcell Ozuna (shoulder) remains on track to return from the disabled list when first eligible on Saturday. Ozuna was placed on the disabled list last Wednesday with inflammation in his right shoulder, but he has already resumed swinging a bat. Tyler O’Neill has been drawing regular starts in left field in Ozuna’s absence. The Cards go with John Gant (5-5, 3.56). Gant tossed seven innings of one-run ball Saturday in a no-decision versus the Rockies. Gant issued five walks but mostly pitched well. The one run against him came on a pinch-hit solo homer by Matt Holliday in the bottom of the seventh inning. The 26-year-old right-hander now holds a 1.22 WHIP in 86 innings (13 starts, seven relief appearances) this season. Gant struck out one in 1.0 inning of relief work in 7-0 win over PIT (9/10/17) to follow Michael Wacha’s 8.0 shutout frames. Gant is making his first career start against the Pirates at Busch Stadium. Prior three career starts vs. the Bucs were all at PNC Park.
Latest MLB Betting Trends for Pirates at Cardinals
- Pittsburgh is 4-2 ATS in the last 6 games
- Pittsburgh is 2-6 SU in the last 8 games
- The total went UNDER in 9 of Pittsburgh’s last 12 games
- St. Louis is 6-2 ATS in the last 8 games
- St. Louis is 16-4 SU in the last 20 games
- The total went UNDER in 7 of St. Louis’s last 9 games