We could spend all day arguing about which division is the best in baseball, but it’s really hard to argue against the NL Central. If the season was to end today, 3 teams – the Cardinals, Pirates, and Cubs – would have a spot in the playoffs. While it looks for MLB Betting fans as though the Cardinals are going to win the division, Pittsburgh will still feel as though they have a chance to catch them. They will have a chance to close the gap when they welcome in the Cards for a 3-game series starting on Tuesday.
Pittsburgh Pirates vs St Louis Cardinals MLB Betting OddsDate/Time: Tuesday August 11th, 8:15 pm ETVenue: Busch Stadium, St Louis MissouriTV: MLBNRadio: KMOX 1120Opening Lines: Pittsburgh +140, St Louis -150
The Cards, on the easy road to the playoffsThe Cardinals (71-40) continue to set the bar that the other teams have to reach in the regular season. They have been getting the job done on offense and defense, and have a +121 run differential which pretty much proves that point. The surprising part of their offensive output is that they have been doing it with a couple of rookies in the line-up. Injuries have been an issue for St. Louis all season long, but the fact that they have continued to win in spite of that is a testament to the depth of their squad.You also have to give massive props to the pitching staff, as they are coming off a 3-game stretch where they didn’t give up a single run. The lead atop the division is now at 5, and a win in this series would take them one step closer to the crown. Carlos Martinez (11-4, 2.57 ERA) is coming into this one on a 3-game unbeaten streak.
Pittsburgh, the chase after the Cards is not over until it’s over.In any other division, the Pittsburgh Pirates (65-44) would likely have a comfortable lead, which just goes to show you how good this one is. While the Pirates are coming into this series on the heels of an impressive sweep of the LA Dodgers, there is some cause for concern. It was very much the offense that led Pittsburgh to the win in that last series, as the pitching staff gave up 15 runs to the Dodgers.That now means they have given up a total of 20 runs during this current 4-game win streak by the Pirates. Winning is good, but they will have to tighten up defensively if they hope to make any sort of noise in the postseason. They will have a chance to shut things down on Tuesday with Jeff Locke (6-6, 4.31 ERA) on the mound, although the 11 earned runs he has given up in his last 3 starts is not something to inspire too much confidence.
Key Betting Trends:
- St. Louis is 5-1 SU in its last 6 games
- The total has gone UNDER in 5 of St. Louis’s last 5 games
- Pittsburgh is 4-1 SU in its last 5 games