Pittsburgh Pirates vs. St. Louis Cardinals Free Pick - 10/6/13
St. Louis Cardinals (98-66) at Pittsburgh Pirates (96-69)
MLB Baseball: Sunday, October 6, 2013 at 4:37 pm (PNC Park)
Joe Kelly (R) (9-3) (2.276) vs. Francisco Liriano (L) (17-8) (2.946)
The Line: Pittsburgh Pirates -150 / St. Louis Cardinals +140 --- Over/Under: 6.5 See the Latest Odds
The NLDS switches to PNC Park with the St Louis Cardinals visit the Pittsburgh Pirates with the series tied 1-1.
St Louis had their opportunity to take a commanding 2-0 lead in the NLDS but it wasn't to be with both the work on the mound and at the plate being a non factor in Friday's 7-1 loss at Busch Stadium. The momentum of their series opening victory was no where to be found Friday with starter Lance Lynn reverting back to his struggling ways. Lynn was charged with five runs on seven hits with a trio of free passes over 4.1 frames while striking out six. The offense that pounded the ball in game number one wasn't able to duplicate the effort with only four hits and a pair of bases on balls. The Redbirds only offense was a solo jack off the bat of Yadier Molina in the fifth. The Cardinals send second year man Joe Kelly to the mound to give his team the lead in the NLDS. Kelly has been solid in the rotation with six quality starts the last ten times out where he has gone 7-2.
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Pittsburgh picked up their first postseason victory in 21 years when they defeated Cincinnati in the Wild Card but then fell flat in the NLDS opener to St Louis by a 9-1 count. I'm sure many fans were a bit worried heading in to game number two but had no reason as the resilient Buccos turned the tables on the Cardinals in a 7-1 decision to even the series heading back home. Rookie Gerrit Cole came through in the biggest start of his young career with the lone run allowed on just two hits through six frames to pick up the win. The offense that was silent in the opener responded with ten hits and five BB with Starling Marte going deep while Pedro Alverez clubbed a two run homer. Russell Martin also knocked in a pair of runs while eight players hit safely. Left hander Francisco Liriano gets the ball in game three of the NLDS after knocking off the Reds in the NL Wild Card. Liriano is one of the reasons the Pirates are in the postseason with a 16-8 record and 3.02 ERA.
I have been riding Liriano in 2013 and will back him here but Kelly is no slouch and the Cardinals are obviously good so I don't know if I can lay the chalk...