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Pittsburgh Pirates vs. St. Louis Cardinals Free Pick 8/31/13

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

MLB Baseball: Saturday, August 31, 2013 at 7:05 pm (PNC Park)

Lance Lynn (R) (13-8) (4.018) vs. AJ Burnett (R) (6-9) (3.176)

The Line: Pittsburgh Pirates -124 / St. Louis Cardinals +114 --- Over/Under: 7.5 See the Latest Odds

TV: FS-West, ROOT-Pittsburgh

The Pittsburgh Pirates and the St. Louis Cardinals meet on Saturday for game two of their series with first place in the National League Central going to the winner.

The Pittsburgh Pirates are hanging in there and they moved into a tie for first place in the NL Central, shutting down the Cardinals on Friday. Garrett Jones had three hits, including a home run, Russell Martin hit a home run, and Jose Tabata and Neil Walker each had two hits as the Pirates scored five runs on nine hits. Francisco Liriano was outstanding, allowing just two hits and striking out six over 8.0 scoreless innings to get the win and go to 15-6 on the season. For Saturday’s game, the Pirates start A.J. Burnett, who has lost two of his last three decisions. For the season. Burnett has allowed 134 hits and 54 earned runs, while striking out 166 over 153 innings for a 6-9 record and a 3.18 ERA.

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Pittsburgh Pirates vs. St. Louis Cardinals Free Pick 8/31/13

Scott Rovak-USA TODAY Sports

The St. Louis Cardinals never got the bats going on Friday and they were shut down by the Pirates. Matt Holliday had two hits and Carlos Beltran and Allen Craig had hits, as the Cardinals didn’t score a run on four hits. Starting pitcher Shelby Miller allowed eight hits and five runs, while striking out three over 4.1 innings to take the loss and fall to 12-9 on the season. For Saturday’s rematch, the Cardinals start Lance Lynn, who has lost his last three decisions. For the season, Lynn has allowed 153 hits and 75 earned runs, while striking out 158 over 168 innings for a 13-8 record and a 4.02 ERA.

Pittsburgh is 31-12 in their last 43 games as a favorite, 2-4 in their last six home games, and 5-0 in Burnett’s last five home starts against a team with a winning record. St. Louis is 6-3 against a team with a winning record, 9-4 in their last 13 games, and 1-5 in Lynn’s last six road starts. St. Louis is 1-6 in their last seven games in Pittsburgh.

We have two decent pitchers here, but two teams whose bats are ready to go and for my free pick I like the over. I also have a FREE PICK on the winning side and I will give that Free Pick out on Saturday’s 1stQuarter Podcast.

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