Tuesday, Aug.12, 8:15 p.m. (ET)
Television: MLB Extra Innings
Money Line: Pittsburgh (+170) St. Louis (-180)
Total Line: 7.5
Pittsburgh comes into this three-game NL Central showdown with a three-game lead over the Cardinals despite dropping its last three games against Colorado this past weekend. It is now 70-47 on the year with a 29-27 record on the road. A 10-1 loss to the Rockies on Friday night as a 145 road favorite snapped a five-game winning streak and the total has gone OVER in three of the last four games.
The Pirates’ bats have cooled since the start of August with an average of 3.2 runs in their last 10 games as compared to a season average of 3.9 runs. Fortunately, they still have the top pitching staff in the National League with a team ERA of 3.14. Pittsburgh will go with Charlie Morton as its starter for Tuesday night. The right-hander is coming off one of his best outings of the year in which he gave-up two runs on six hits in seven innings of work. He is 4-3 on the year with a 3.88 ERA.
The Cardinals are well aware of the importance of this series in terms of keeping the division race tight, but momentum is not of their side after losing four of their last five games. They avoided a sweep at home against the Cubs this past weekend with an 8-4 victory on Sunday as 160 favorites. The win improved their record at home this season to 34-22 and they are now 67-50 overall. The total has gone OVER in three of their last five games.
St. Louis has also struggled to put runs on the board recently after a hot start to August in which it posted 44 runs in its first four games of the month. Overall the Cardinals are still the most prolific scoring team in the NL with an average of 4.9 runs a game. Their pitching is ranked fifth in the league with a team ERA of 3.52. The staff ace will be on the mound for St. Louis on Tuesday night. Adam Wainwright is still searching for his 14th win of the season after going 13-7 in 24 previous starts. He comes into this matchup with a 2.66 ERA and is 8-4 lifetime against the Pirates with an ERA of 5.19.
Free MLB Pick
Even though Wainwright has not had his best stuff in his last few outings, it is never wise to bet against him especially when the Cardinals are playing at home. Stick with St. Louis grabbing the early edge in this series with a win on Tuesday night.
St. Louis 5 Pittsburgh 3
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