Wednesday, July 10, 7:15 p.m. (ET)
Money Line: St. Louis (-115) Pittsburgh (+105)
Total Line: 7
The Cardinals came into this extended five-game series with a game and a half lead over Pittsburgh in the NL Central but a 9-2 loss on Monday night as 136 road underdogs followed by a double-header sweep on Tuesday has them a game and a half behind the new division leaders. St. Louis is now 62-43 on the year and 30-26 on the road. Its current losing streak has hit six games and the total has stayed UNDER in five of those outings.
The National League’s highest scoring team with an average of 4.8 runs a game has hit a major scoring drought during this recent slide. The Cardinals have a grand total of six runs in six games and they have not scored more than four runs in nine of their last 10 games. Fortunately they will be able to send Adam Wainwright to the mound as the starter on Wednesday night in an effort end this losing skid. The right-hander is 13-6 this season with a 2.51 ERA. He is 8-4 against the Pirates with an ERA of 5.20.
Pittsburgh started Tuesday just a half game out of first but took the lead in the Central with a 2-1 victory in Game 1 as a 140 favorite and then followed it up with a 6-0 shutout as a 106 underdog in the nightcap. The Pirates are now 7-3 in their last 10 games and 35-18 at home overall. The total has stayed UNDER in six of their last nine contests despite pounding-out a total of 42 runs during that stretch of games.
While Pittsburgh’s bat continue to get the job done, much of the credit for not only this recent surge but the overall success this season has to go the team’s pitching staff. The Pirates are ranked 11th in the NL in scoring, but with a team ERA of 3.02 they are ranked first in pitching. Jeff Locke is slated to get the start in this one. The left-hander has not given-up more than three earned runs in each of his last 17 starts and is 9-3 on the year with a 2.15 ERA.
Free MLB Pick
My first instinct in this matchup is to stick with the UNDER as neither of these starters is going to yield too many runs, but the free MLB pick on the side is the Cardinals. Look for St. Louis to generate just enough offense to win this game and end its current slide.
St. Louis 3 Pittsburgh 2
DJ is a freelance writer that concentrates on his true passion in life; the world of sports. He produces a number of articles each week for BangTheBook.com as well as a select group of other websites that specialize in providing the most up-to-date information for the sports gaming industry. His goal is to write insightful articles on a wide variety of sporting topics that can provide an edge to today's sophisticated online player.