The Cardinals hit the road again after a short two-game home series against the Royals. In those two games, they scored just two runs, but that was enough to get them a win. They now sit at 25-32 on the year and have won five of their last ten games. The Pirates come how after a six-game west coast swing. They are 28-27 on the year and are just a half-game back of the Milwaukee Brewers for first place in the division. Still, they are just 4-6 in their last ten games and have spent much of the season floating around the .500 mark.
Here are the Cardinals-Pirates MLB odds, courtesy of FanDuel.
MLB Odds: Cardinals-Pirates Odds
St. Louis Cardinals: -1.5 (+108)
Pittsburgh Pirates: +1.5 (-130)
Over: 9.5 (-104)
Under: 9.5 (-118)
How To Watch Cardinals vs. Pirates
Time: 7:05 PM ET/ 4:05 PM PT
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Why The Cardinals Could Cover The Spread
While the Cardinals struggled to score in the last two games, they have scored well most of the year. They are tied for ninth in the majors with 273 runs on the season. This is helped by their eighth-ranked slugging percentage, top 15-ranked batting average, and on-base percentage. The offense has been led by two main players. First is the perennial All-Star Paul Goldschmidt. Goldschmidt leads the team with a .289 batting average on the season. He has cooled off a little as of late though. In May he hit .272, while hitting six home runs and driving in 12. Goldschmidt has had solid success against Roansy Contreras though. Against the Pirates' starter, he is hitting .375.
While Goldschmidt leads the team in runs scored, someone has to drive him home. That has been Nolan Gorman. Gorman is seventh in the majors this year with 41 RBIS and his .915 OPS ranks ninth. Gorman has been hitting right-handed pitching hard this year. On the season Gorman is hitting .274 against righties while hitting 11 home runs and driving in 36 runs. He has not hit a home run since May 20th though, so he will hopefully be getting back on track in this one. The Cardinals will also hope to get some runs from Jordan Walker, who will be back from the minors in this game.
On the hill, today for the Cardinals will be Jack Flaherty. Flaherty is 3-4 on the season with a 4.81 ERA. Two of his last three starts have been very good. Last time out he gave up just one run in seven innings but did not get a decision. On May 15th against the Brewers he went seven innings without giving up a run, while he struck out ten.
Why The Pirates Could Cover The Spread
The Pirate's offense has had its fair share of struggles this year. They are 21st in runs scored while sitting 15th in on-base percentage. They are also 17th in batting average and slugging percentage. Many of the Pirates batters struggled heavily in May, as the Pirates went 8-18 on the month. One that did not was Andrew McCutchen. McCutchen hit .293 in May with seven RBIs and three home runs. His on-base percentage was great, as he had an OBP of .389 in May.
Starting to pick back up with Jack Suwinski. Suwinski hit just .207 in May and was striking out a lot. He struck out 35 times in May. In the last week, he has picked it up though. He hit .364 in the last week with four home runs and six RBIs. He still struggled with strikeouts som, striking out 11 times, but he more than made up for that with his bat. Ji Hwan Bae is also starting to heat up. He hit .350 over the last week, with two doubles. He also scored five times over the last week but did not have an RBI. The RBIs came from Bryan Reynolds. After not having an RBI in the first 17 days of May, Reynolds has eight in just the last week.
On the hill for the Pirates will be Roansy Contreras. Contreras is 3-4 on the season with a 4.33 ERA. His last time out, he came in as a reliever, going two innings and giving up just one hit. His last four starts have not been great though. In three of them, he gave up three or more runs in five to 5.1 innings of work. The other start he did go seven innings giving up two runs, both of them on solo home runs,
Final Cardinals-Pirates Prediction & Pick
Contreras has struggled with the long ball this season. He has given up at least one home run in each of his last four starts. Meanwhile, the Cardinals are tied for sixth in the majors with 76 home runs on the season. The Pirates did struggle heavily in May, but many of their key bats seem to be amid a turnaround. Still, the Cardinals have the better offense and better pitcher on the mound today. They get the win in this one.
Final Cardinals-Pirates Prediction & Pick: Cardinals -1.5 (+108)