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Pittsburgh Pirates vs. St. Louis Cardinals - 7/31/2013

St. Louis (62-43) at Pittsburgh (64-42)

MLB Baseball: Wednesday, July 31, 2013 at 7:05 pm (PNC Park)

The Line: Pittsburgh Pirates -108 / St. Louis Cardinals -102 See the Latest Odds

TV: FS-Midwest, Root-Pittsburgh

The Pittsburgh Pirates and the St. Louis Cardinals face off on Wednesday in Pittsburgh in a battle of the top two teams in the NL Central.

The Pittsburgh Pirates have taken the first three games in their series with the Cardinals and in the process they have taken over the lead in the division. In game two on Tuesday Andrew McCutchen had two hits including a home run and Josh Harrison, Jordy Mercer, and Gaby Sanchez had two hits each as the Pirates scored six runs on 11 hits. For Wednesday’s game the Pirates start Jeff Locke who has lost two of his last three decisions. For the season Locke has allowed 85 hits and 29 earned runs while striking out 88 over 121.2 innings for a 9-3 record and a 2.15 ERA.

Pittsburgh Pirates vs. St. Louis Cardinals - 7/31/2013

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sport

The St. Louis Cardinals have led the NL Central for the bulk of the season but right now they have slipped to second place and haven’t looked very good doing so. On Tuesday’s second game Jon Jay and Matt Holliday had hits as the Cardinals managed just three hits and were shutout. Starting pitcher Tyler Lyons had the other hit and he allowed eight hits and three earned runs while striking out five over 6.0 innings to take the loss and fall to 2-4 on the season. For Wednesday’s game the Cardinals start Adam Wainwright who is coming off of a loss in his last start. For the season Wainwright has allowed 148 hits and 45 earned runs while striking out 145 over 161.2 innings for a 13-6 record and a 2.51 ERA.

Pittsburgh is 7-1 in their last eight home games, 9-3 in their last 12 games, and 5-1 in Locke’s last six home starts. St. Louis is 0-7 in their last seven games, 1-4 in their last five road games against a left-handed starter, and 20-8 in Wainwright’s last 28 starts. St. Louis is 1-7 in their last eight games in Pittsburgh.

I am not expecting a lot of scoring here and my free pick is on the under. My stronger play is on the winning side and I will post that pick in the Premium Area.

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Under 7.5

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