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Pittsburgh Pirates vs. St. Louis Cardinals Free Pick - 8/30/13

St. Louis Cardinals (78-55) at Pittsburgh Pirates (77-56)

MLB Baseball: Friday, August 30, 2013 at 7:05 pm (PNC Park)

Shelby Miller (R) (12-8) (2.899) vs. Francisco Liriano (L) (14-6) (2.736)

The Line: Pittsburgh Pirates -120 / St. Louis Cardinals +110 --- Over/Under: 6.5 See the Latest Odds

TV: FS-Midwest, ROOT-Pittsburgh

The St Louis Cardinals visit PNC Park to face the Pittsburgh Pirates in a battle for first in the National League Central.
St Louis has been the hottest team in the National League Central as winners in seven of ten to take the division lead away from the Pirates. However, the Buccos are just one game out after the Cardinals were knocked off 10-0 by visiting Cincinnati on Wednesday. The offense and pitching were starting to find a groove before Adam Wainwright had an unexpected meltdown with a whopping nine runs given up on eight hits and a pair of BB over just two innings pitched. The Cardinals offense faced a huge task early and never mounted a serious threat with their five hit, three walk attack against Homer Bailey. The Cardinals open the series with Shelby Miller on the hill Friday. Miller looks to duplicate his effort in a 6-2 decision over Atlanta, where he allowed a single run on three hits in seven frames.

Pittsburgh has been struggling as of late and we've seen this team falter in the latter half of the past few years. However, the Buccos are right in the middle of the National League Central race, which has not been the case this late in the season in decades. The Pirates won't be in the running long if they continue down the path they are on, with losses in four of five following a 4-0 defeat at the hands of visiting Milwaukee. Starter Gerrit Cole was hit hard with with four runs given up (three earned) on ten hits and a base on balls through 7.1 innings pitched. The offense simply didn't hit nemesis Yovani Gallardo, who held the Buccos attack to a mere six hits and two walks. Left-hander Francisco Liriano is scheduled to face the division-leading Cardinals on Friday. Liriano will need a better performance than we saw in a 6-3 loss to San Francisco when he gave up four runs on nine hits in four innings.

Pittsburgh Pirates vs. St. Louis Cardinals Free Pick - 8/30/13

Scott Rovak-USA TODAY Sports

I don't have a ton of confidence in Pittsburgh right now and ultimately I think St Louis wins the division. This is probably a good one to watch instead of bet anyway, but I'll back the home team with a gun to my head...

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