Cardinals at Pirates Preview and Pick: National League Central Division rivals will wrap up a weekend series on Sunday at PNC Park when the Pittsburgh Pirates host the St. Louis Cardinals. St. Louis has won the first two games of this series, and they have a big advantage on Sunday to come away with the series sweep.
The Cardinals have now won three straight games, and they look like they are starting to turn things around after a slow start. St. Louis comes into this game with a record of 15-12, and they sit in second place in the National League Central Division.
Pittsburgh has actually been much better than expected to begin the season, but this team is expected to head in the wrong direction soon. The Pirates are just 12-14 on the year, and they sit in fourth place in the Central Division.
The St. Louis Cardinals are -140 on the money line in this showdown with the Pirates on Sunday afternoon. The over/under for total runs scored is set at 8.5.
Cardinals at Pirates Preview and Pick: Cardinals Clicking on Offense
When the Cardinals went out and traded for Nolan Arenado, they were expected to be one of the best offenses in baseball. That hasn’t necessarily been the case for much of the season, but the Cardinals have scored 23 total runs during this three-game winning streak.
Paul DeJong is sort of the forgotten man in the Cardinals lineup, but he leads this team with six home runs. Nolan Arenado has a team-high 18 runs batted in, and he is always capable of doing some damage at the plate.
Carlos Martinez takes the ball for St. Louis on Sunday, and he is looking to turn his season around. The hard-throwing right-hander is just 1-4 with a 4.76 ERA to begin the season.
Cardinals at Pirates Preview and Pick: Pitching Letting Pittsburgh Down
Pittsburgh has played better than expected to begin the year, but this team has struggled to get outs. The Pirates come into Sunday with a team ERA of 4.42, and they have just four quality starts from their starters.
Wil Crowe will be on the mound in the series finale on Sunday, but the Pittsburgh bullpen will likely be called into action early. The Pirates have gotten just four quality starts this season, and the reserves are starting to wear down quickly.
Colin Moran leads the Pirates offense with a .297 batting average to go along with 19 RBIs. There just isn’t a ton of big bats in the everyday lineup for Pittsburgh, and that is going to be a problem moving forward.
The Pirates have to hope that the Cardinals don’t have a big offensive night as they just simply can’t keep up. Pittsburgh is going to struggle to score as many runs as the Cardinals, but the Pirates have been competitive for much of the season.
Cardinals at Pirates Preview and Pick
St. Louis is the much better team in this matchup, and the Cardinals have had little trouble in dominating the first two games of this series. Pittsburgh has shown the ability to challenge some of the best teams in the division, but they are also expected to fade off soon.
The Pirates just don’t have a very strong pitching staff, and that is a big problem against a team like the Cardinals. St. Louis has put up some big numbers at the plate to begin the year, and that should continue in this game.
St. Louis is going to finish off this series with another win as they continue to climb up the standings. Pittsburgh will keep this game closer than it was on Saturday night, but the outcome will be the same.
Bet the St. Louis Cardinals -140 as they stay red hot and pick up another win over the Pittsburgh Pirates.