2019-09-08 12:35:00 EDT
The St. Louis Cardinals and the Pittsburgh Pirates meet in the rubber match of their three game NL Central division set from PNC Park on Sunday.
The St. Louis Cardinals will look to win the series after evening the set up at one win apiece following a 10-1 win over Pittsburgh in game two on Saturday. Marcell Ozuna had a home run and three RBIs while Paul DeJong and Harrison Bader each had two RBIs and a double with Bader going 2 for 4 at the dish. Dexter Fowler, Tommy Edman and Rangel Ravelo each had an RBI to finish off the Cardinals’ offense as a team in the win while Adam Wainwright and Kolten Wong each had two hits with a double. Yadier Molina added a base hit to round out St. Louis’ offense as a team in the win. Wainwright got the win to improve to 11-9 on the year after allowing one run on six hits while striking out three over seven innings of work. Jack Flaherty will start game three and is 9-7 with a 3.14 ERA and 186 strikeouts this season. In his career, Flaherty is 3-1 with a 2.25 ERA and 31 strikeouts against Pittsburgh.
The Pittsburgh Pirates will look to bounce back and win the series after dropping game two on Saturday. Starling Marte went 2 for 3 with a triple and an RBI while Bryan Reynolds, Kevin Newman, Adam Frazier and Steven Brault each added a base hit as the Pirates had just six hits as a team in the losing effort. Brault took the loss, falling to 4-4 on the year after allowing six runs, five earned, on six hits over 5.1 innings of work. James Marvel will start game three and is making his major league debut in this one after going 16-5 with a 2.94 ERA and 136 strikeouts between AA and AAA this season.
St. Louis is 4-1 in Flaherty’s last 5 starts and 37-17 in their last 54 games overall while the over is 5-0 in their last 5 games against a team with a losing record. Pittsburgh is 8-19 in their last 27 home games and 7-21 in their last 28 division games while the over is 5-0-1 in their last 6 games overall. St. Louis is 20-7 in the last 27 meetings between these two teams, 10-1 in the last 11 meetings between these two teams in Pittsburgh and 4-1 in Flaherty’s last 5 starts against Pittsburgh.
Marvel has some solid stuff, going 7-0 with an ERA under three in AAA this season, so there could be some great stuff coming from the Pirates farm system. However, I like many others try to stay away from pitchers making their major league debuts this late in the season. It also doesn’t help that St. Louis has been on fire lately, especially Flaherty who has been on a pretty strong run over the last two months, allowing two runs or less in each of his last 11 starts over that span. I just think that St. Louis holds all of the Cards here (no pun intended), so I’ll side with the Cardinals for the win on Sunday.