Pittsburgh Pirates at St. Louis Cardinals
|Date & Time||Wednesday July 17, 2019, 1:15 PM (EDT)|
St. Louis, MO
St. Louis Cardinals -140 / Pittsburgh Pirates +120
The Pittsburgh Pirates and the St. Louis Cardinals meet in the finale of a three game NL Central division set in MLB action from Busch Stadium on Wednesday.
The Pittsburgh Pirates will look to win the set after evening the series up at one win apiece following a 3-1 win in game two on Tuesday. Kevin Newman had two RBIs and Colin Moran added an RBI of his own to round out the Pirates’ scoring as a team in the win. Corey Dickerson had a double while Josh Bell and Starling Marte each contributed a base hit as Pittsburgh cranked out just five hits as a team in the victory. Dario Agrazal gave up one run on five hits over six innings of work, not factoring in the decision. Francisco Liriano got the win to improve to 3-1 on the year while Felipe Vazquez closed out the 9th for his 20th save of the campaign. Chris Archer will start game three and is 3-6 with a 5.42 ERA and 98 strikeouts this season. In his career, Archer is 0-0 with a 2.20 ERA and 22 strikeouts against St. Louis.
The St. Louis Cardinals will look to bounce back after dropping game two on Tuesday. Starting pitcher Jack Flaherty did his best to help his own cause, logging the Cardinals’ lone RBI in the losing effort with an RBI double. Tyler O’Neill went 2 for 4 while Dexter Fowler and Harrison Bader each added a double to cap off St. Louis’ offense as the Cardinals also had just five hits as a team in the defeat. Flaherty gave up one run on three hits while striking out eight over seven innings of work, not factoring in the decision. Carlos Martinez took the loss in relief, falling to 2-1 on the year as a result. Daniel Ponce de Leon will start game three and is 1-0 with a 1.99 ERA and 38 strikeouts this season. This will be Ponce de Leon’s second career start against Pittsburgh.
Pittsburgh is 3-9 in Archer’s last 12 road starts and 1-4 in their last 5 games overall while the over is 7-3 in their last 10 division games. ST. Louis is 5-1 in their last 6 games against a right-handed starter and 5-2 in their last 7 home games against a right-handed starter while the under is 6-0 in their last 6 games overall. Pittsburgh is 20-41 in the last 61 meetings between these two teams in St. Louis.
I’m tempted to take a shot with Pittsburgh and the plus money at home given that the Pirates have had some success with Archer on the mound. However, not a lot of that success has come on the road, where the Pirates have won just three of Archer’s last 12 starts, and Archer himself has an ERA well over seven on the road this season. Ponce de Leon isn’t a consistent cog in St. Louis’ starting rotation, but he’s proven to be capable and is a solid arm with a lineup behind him that still inspires some confidence. I’ll lay the juice with St. Louis here as more of a fade from Archer on the road than anything else.