The Pittsburgh Pirates and the St. Louis Cardinals are going to be back at it on Wednesday night in MLB betting action, as the two teams meet up in the Steel City for what should be a great clash on NL Central rivals.
The Cards are still hoping to sneak into the playoffs as one of the two Wild Card teams, but when push comes to shove, they are going to have to really perform better on the road to be able to do so. They are a game under .500 on the road, and that needs to improve. On Wednesday night, it will be up to rookie Joe Kelly to get the job done for Manager Mike Matheny. The youngster is just 4-5 this year, and he picked up his fourth win of the year in a relief appearance against the Cincinnati Reds five days ago. Kelly has a 3.26 ERA, but a 1.42 WHIP is an awfully high number. Batters are hitting .280 against him, and he has walked 26 batters in just 77.1 innings of work. Kelly has the stuff to be a monster, as demonstrated by the fact that he fanned six Reds in just three frames on August 24th. However, he doesn’t always have the best control, and he often gets in trouble. Kelly hasn’t pitched more than 6.1 innings in a game over the course of his brief career, and that means that Matheny is going to have to go to his bullpen relatively early, and probably quite often on Wednesday.
We give the Pirates all the credit in the world for hanging in there in the Wild Card chase, though this is the type of game that really needs to be won to narrow the gap between themselves and the Cardinals and Atlanta Braves. Pittsburgh put forth a dominating effort yesterday in a 9-0 win, and now it is up to Wandy Rodriguez to keep the St. Louis bats baffled. Rodriguez came over from the Houston Astros a month ago, and matters just haven’t been good for him since. The southpaw is just 1-4 in six appearances (with the one win coming in relief) with a 4.86 ERA. Batters are hitting .280 against him in the five starts, and he has nearly as many walks (13) as he does strikeouts (18). Having just as many runs allowed (18) as K’s isn’t helping his cause either.
We expect to see some runs on the board tonight. The Pirates are seeing the baseball well, and the Cardinals are bound to do better than they did yesterday. This just isn’t a pretty spot for two pitchers that are below average on good teams. We aren’t sure that either will factor into the decision, as we think that both will be run early in what could be a back and forth high scoring affair. St. Louis 7 – Pittsburgh 6