Pittsburgh Pirates vs. St. Louis Cardinals - 4/5/16 MLB Pick, Odds, and Prediction
St. Louis Cardinals (0-1) at Pittsburgh Pirates (0-0)
MLB Baseball: Tuesday, April 5, 2016 at 7:05 pm (PNC Park)
M Wacha (0-0) (0.00) vs. J Niese (0-0) (0.00)
The Line: Pittsburgh Pirates -105 / St. Louis Cardinals -105 --- Over/Under: 7 See the Latest Odds
Interesting match up in Tuesday night as Pittsburgh Pirates Jon Niese makes his debut for his new club against the St. Louis Cardinals young ace in the making Michael Wacha at what should be a really loud PNC Park.
The Pirates went out on opening day and did what no one outside of the ball club thought they could do, they beat the Cardinals and did so impressively. A quality start from Francesco Liriano, who also drove in a run, was enough for the Pirates to pinch the opening game between these two. The Pirates have been terrific the last two years and while they finished behind the Cardinals in this supremely competitive division they won 98 games last year finishing ahead of the Cubs. Jon Niese was a serviceable pitcher with the Mets last season and while he was unspectacular he won nine games and I think is a decent fill in at the bottom of a rotation. The Pirates line up is strong with Josh Harrison expected to improve as he gets more game time and should see alot of time in the one position this season as the Pirates traded Neil Walker to get Niese . The Priates will also be expecting improvement for Gregory Polanco and the continued excellence of former league MVP Andrew McCutchen should see this line up pack quite a punch. Add in the speed of Stering Marte and the consistancy of John Jaso, Francisco Cervilli and we have a team that should be able to compete with the big boys come the business end. The question marks though are over the quality of the Pirates pitching not their hitting.
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The St Louis Cardinals continue to be the bench mark in the NL Central but they will not be favourites for the division this season with the Cubs being the favourites to win the World Series. Most teams would have thrown in the towel last season with the amount of injuries the Cardinals had but not this team. No they went all the way to the playoffs and won over 100 games over the season. While there are definite question marks over the St Louis Cardinals line up , their starting pitching looks to me to be one of the best in all of baseball. The experts seem to think that the Cardinals are going to struggle hitting wise. I am not so sure. The Cardinals have consistantly managed to get players to come through their farm system ready to play in the big leagues and their coaching staff seems to be able to get the best out of the players they have. Matt Adams is back in the line up and should start at first, Matt Holliday will more than likely stay in left field and Matt Carpenter will lead off, nothing wrong with those three bats and where many expect Yadier Molina to regress this season he hasnt shown any signs of that with an opening day 2 for 3 with a walk and a run scored. Write off these Cardinals at your peril in my opinion.
These two have played some really good series over the last three years and I dont expect this one to be much different. I think on Tuesday though the Cardinals have the slight upper hand on the mound and getting Michael Wacha and the Cardinals at -105 looks the right play here to me. Take the Cardinals to get the job done in what should be a low scoring game.