St. Louis Cardinals (56-54) at Pittsburgh Pirates (57-53)
|Date & Time||Sunday August 5, 2018, 1:35 PM (EDT)|
The Line: Pittsburgh Pirates -105 / St. Louis Cardinals -105 --- Over/Under: 8.5
The St. Louis Cardinals and the Pittsburgh Pirates duke it out in the rubber match of their three game NL Central division set in MLB action from PNC Park on Sunday.
The St. Louis Cardinals will look to keep rolling and finish off the series with a win after evening the set up at one win apiece following their 8-4 victory in game two on Saturday. Jedd Gyorko led the Cards with three RBIs, going 2 for 4 with a pair of doubles. Matt Carpenter went 2 for 4 with a solo home run and a double and Jose Martinez added a pair of doubles of his own with an RBI. Kolten Wong, Harrison Bader and Yadier Molina each added an RBI to round out St. Louis’ scoring, with Wong and Bader each adding a two-bagger while Molina matched Wong’s 3 for 5 output at the dish. Austin Gomber gave up all four runs on seven hits while whiffing five over four innings of work, not factoring in the decision. Dakota Hudson picked up the win to climb to 2-0 this season. Jack Flaherty will start game three and is 4-6 with a 3.49 ERA and 111 strikeouts this season. In his career, Flaherty is 1-1 with a 3.94 ERA and 11 strikeouts against Pittsburgh.
The Pittsburgh Pirates will look to bounce back and win the series after dropping game two on Saturday. Adam Frazier led the Bucs by putting up two RBIs and a double while David Freese added a solo home run and Jordy Mercer chipped in an RBI as well to cap off Pittsburgh’s scoring in defeat. Francisco Cervelli went 2 for 3 and Josh Harrison added a double while Jose Osuna and Elias Diaz each contributed a base hit in the loss. Ivan Nova gave up four runs on eight hits in four innings of work, not factoring in the decision while Alex McRae took the loss to fall to 0-1 this season. Trevor Williams will start game three and is 9-7 with a 3.89 ERA and 77 strikeouts this season. In his career, Williams is 2-3 with a 7.44 ERA and 27 strikeouts against St. Louis.
St. Louis is 1-7 in Flaherty’s last 8 starts and 1-4 in their last 5 Sunday games while the over is 8-0 in their last 8 road games against a team with a winning record. Pittsburgh is 17-6 in their last 23 games overall and 14-4 in their last 18 division matchups while the under is 7-1-1 in Williams’ last 9 home starts against a team with a winning record.
You could definitely argue that St. Louis should be pushing for a sweep here after having the more consistent offense of the two teams so far this series. However, the Cardinals have lost seven of Flaherty’s eight starts and he’s been hard to trust for most of the season. Williams doesn’t have very good career numbers against St. Louis, but Williams is also sitting on three straight shutouts and the Pirates have won each of his last three starts in shutout fashion. I’m not sure Williams makes it four in a row but I see him pitching well enough to lead Pittsburgh to a series win here.