St. Louis Cardinals vs. Pittsburgh Pirates Free Pick - 10/3/13
Pittsburgh Pirates (94-68) at St. Louis Cardinals (97-65)
MLB Baseball: Thursday, October 3, 2013 at 5:07 pm (Busch Stadium)
AJ Burnett (R) (10-11) (3.30) vs. Adam Wainwright (R) (19-9) (2.942)
The Line: St. Louis Cardinals -140 / Pittsburgh Pirates +130 --- Over/Under: 7 See the Latest Odds
The Pittsburgh Pirates and St Louis Cardinals take the field at Busch Stadium in game one of the NLDS.
Pittsburgh finally snapped their string of over two decades of not appearing in the postseason and won their first playoff game since 1992 when they defeated Cincinnati 6-2 in the Wild Card Tuesday. In the process they avoided fading late the way they have over the last few years and look to carry this momentum in to the NLDS. The Pirates have gotten pretty good pitching and some clutch hitting throughout 2013 and both were a factor versus the Reds. Francisco Liriano took care of business on the mound with a single run given up on four hits over seven innings to get the win. The offense made it look easy with 13 hits that saw Russell Martin clubbing a pair of homers while Marlon Byrd went deep and drove in two. The Pirates send veteran AJ Burnett to the bump to face the heavy hitting Cardinals in their NLDS opener. Burnett comes in to the series opener riding back to back wins in which he allowed three runs on nine hits over 15 frames.
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It seems like we as fans expect the Cardinals to win the National League Central or at least capture the Wild Card as their name and the postseason seem to be linked. This year was a real test with both Pittsburgh and Cincinnati putting the squeeze on until the final weeks of the season in what was probably the toughest division in the game. The Redbirds simply have the best combination of hitting and pitching with both put to the test in 2013 and coming up roses. If the Cards needed runs they got them and when they needed outs they got them and when both units were on the same page the division title was their's for the taking. The trick now is to keep the ball rolling against a hot Pittsburgh club in a short series. St Louis looks to Adam Wainwright to control the Pittsburgh offense on Thursday in game one of the NLDS. Wainwright was a major contributor to winning the NL Central with a 6-2 record over his last ten outings.
Both pitchers were hot heading in to the playoffs but both have been hit hard at times although Wainwright wasn't blasted often judging by that ERA. I don't have a real good feel for this one and hate laying chalk but will back the home team and probably just watch...