St. Louis Cardinals (55-53) at Pittsburgh Pirates (56-53)
|Date & Time||Friday August 3, 2018, 7:05 PM (EDT)|
The Line: Pittsburgh Pirates -135 / St. Louis Cardinals +125 --- Over/Under: 8.5
The St. Louis Cardinals and the Pittsburgh Pirates duke it out in game one of a three game NL Central division set in MLB action from PNC Park on Friday.
The St. Louis Cardinals will look to keep their momentum going after winning their series with Colorado after a 3-2 win in the series finale on Thursday. Jose Martinez led the Cards with two RBIs, while Tyler O’Neill added an RBI as well to round out St. Louis’ scoring in the win. Matt Carpenter went 2 for 4 while Jedd Gyorko, Greg Garcia, Harrison Bader and starting pitcher Miles Mikolas each added a base hit in the winning effort for the Cardinals. Mikolas gave up both runs, one earned, on seven hits while striking out six over seven innings of work, not factoring in the decision. Chasen Shreve picked up the win to improve to 3-2 this season. John Gant will start game one and is 3-4 with a 3.49 ERA and 50 strikeouts this season. In his career, Gant is 0-1 with a 4.22 ERA and 9 strikeouts against Pittsburgh.
The Pittsburgh Pirates have had a day to rest after splitting their two game series with the Cubs following a 9-2 loss in game two on Wednesday. Francisco Cervelli went 3 for 3 with an RBI while Jose Osuna added an RBI of his own despite going 0 for 4 at the dish. Starling Marte went 2 for 4 while Colin Moran and Adam Frazier each added a pinch-hit as none of Pittsburgh’s seven hits as a team went for extra bases in the loss. Nick Kingham took the loss, falling to 5-6 this season after allowing four runs, two earned, on three hits over just one inning of work. Chris Archer will make his Pirates debut and has a 3-5 record with a 4.31 ERA and 102 strikeouts this season. This will be Archer’s second career start against St. Louis.
St. Louis is 2-8 in Gant’s last 10 starts and 1-6 in their last 7 games against a right-handed starter while the under is 5-1 in their last 6 division matchups. Pittsburgh is 13-3 in their last 16 division matchups and 16-5 in their last 21 games overall while the over is 9-2 in their last 11 series opening matchups. St. Louis is 2-6 in the last 8 meetings between these two teams in Pittsburgh.
The Cardinals just took three of four against arguably the hottest team in the majors over the last month in Colorado, so there’s value with the plus money here. However, I just don’t trust Gant personally and while the Pirates have cooled off a bit from their recent hot streak, you have to imagine that PNC Park will be rocking for Archer’s debut. Archer also only allowed one run in seven career innings against the Cardinals. Have to lay the juice with Pittsburgh to draw first blood on Friday.