Before the online betting season started, everyone assumed that the Washington Nationals had the best starting rotation in baseball, but that has not as of yet, turned out to be the case. The best rotation to this point in the season belongs to a team who everyone assumed would power their way to the top of the division. We are talking about the St. Louis Cardinals, who will be hosting the second of three games against the Pittsburgh Pirates on Saturday.
Free MLB Pick on Pittsburgh Pirates at St. Louis Cardinals
Date: Saturday, May 02, 2015
Venue: Busch Stadium
Opening Line: St Louis -121
— CBS Sports MLB (@CBSSportsMLB) April 30, 2015
The Cardinals (15-6) pitching staff has been nothing short of phenomenal through the month of April. They have posted combined 2.43 ERA through those first 21 games, but it will be interesting to see if they can maintain that lofty standard with the news that Adam Wainwright is done for the season with an Achilles heel injury. The Cards don’t really seem to be missing a step, though, and are 7-3 in their last 10 games, including a 3-game win streak that they are carrying into this series. What’s all the more worrying for all the other teams in the NL is that the Cardinals are also flashing some real power, and have built up a +37 run differential through April. John Lackey (1-1, 4.21 ERA) will get the start for St. Louis on Saturday. Lackey surrendered 9 hits and 3 runs in his last outing versus the Phillies, taking the loss in the process.
The Pirates (12-10) did not get off to the best start this season, as the Reds swept them in their opening series. They have worked their way back into things quite nicely, though, and their team pitching ERA is second only to the Cardinals. Their recent surge is a little unexpected given how Andrew McCutchen has been struggling at the plate over the past couple of weeks. He will break out of that slump sooner rather than later, at which point you get the sense that this Pirates team might be ready to take a serious run at St. Louis and the division lead. Left-hander Francisco Liriano (1-1, 2.22 ERA) will take to the mound for the Pirates on Saturday. He pitched pretty well through his first 3 games, but his last outing was a gem, going 6.1 innings and giving up 0 runs.
Key Online Betting Trends
St. Louis is 12-3-1 SU in its last 16 games
St. Louis is 8-1-1 SU in its last 10 games at home
St. Louis is 8-3-1 SU in its last 12 games when playing Pittsburgh
St. Louis is 7-1-1 SU in its last 9 games when playing at home against Pittsburgh
Pittsburgh is 6-2-1 SU in its last 9 games
Pittsburgh is 1-3-1 SU in its last 5 games when playing St. Louis
Pittsburgh is 1-7-1 SU in its last 9 games when playing on the road against St. Louis
Consider This Before Placing Your Bets
St. Louis have been dominant (8-2) at home this season, but this might well be the toughest series they have had to this point. The Pirates are going well right now, and if Liriano can pitch as well as he did in his last start, Pittsburgh could well steal this one.