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St. Louis Cardinals vs. Pittsburgh Pirates Free Pick - 9/8/13

Pittsburgh Pirates (81-60) at St. Louis Cardinals (82-60)

MLB Baseball: Sunday, September 8, 2013 at 2:15 pm (Busch Stadium)

Charlie Morton (R) (7-3) (3.000) vs. Michael Wacha (R) (1-0) (3.453)

The Line: St. Louis Cardinals -128 / Pittsburgh Pirates +118 --- Over/Under: 8 See the Latest Odds

TV: ROOT-Pittsburgh, FS-Midwest

The National League Central is up for grabs when the Pittsburgh Pirates face the St Louis Cardinals on Sunday.

The Pirates dropped into second in the National League Central thanks to a 5-0 defeat at St Louis on Saturday. The Buccos are in need of a win right now, after falling in three straight with the Cards taking over the division lead by a 1/2 game and Cincinnati lurking in the shadows. The work on the mound hasn't been real strong in this short span and Jeff Locke wasn't at his best with three runs plated over five innings to absorb the loss. The offense didn't lend a helping hand with only three hits, which hasn't been a strength any way in 2013. Charlie Morton gets the ball Sunday, looking to pitch his team past St Louis and back into the division lead. Morton has been at the top of his game of late with a 3-0 record with a 0.84 ERA.

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St. Louis Cardinals vs. Pittsburgh Pirates Free Pick - 9/8/13

Scott Rovak-USA TODAY Sports

When the Cardinals are hot they are really tough to handle and when they are cold they are as ordinary as any team out there. I don't know whether this team is on the verge of a hot streak as winners in three of four, but they are sitting atop the National League Central, although by the slimest of margins. Starter Adam Wainwright brought his 'A' game to the bump Saturday with a two hit shutout through seven innings of work. That proved to be overkill with David Freese leaving the yard and driving in two runs, while Yadier Molina posted a pair of hits and scored twice. Rookie Michael Wacha has the task of facing the Pirates with the top spot in the Central on the line. Wacha has been throwing the ball well, with a 1-0 mark with a 2.12 ERA in his last three outings.

Morton has been nearly untouchable lately and Wacha has been outstanding as well. It's tough to back a rookie hurler with so much pressure, but I prefer the St Louis bats.

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