Pittsburgh Pirates (64-67) at St. Louis Cardinals (73-58)
|Date & Time||Wednesday August 29, 2018, 8:15 PM (EDT)|
The Line: St. Louis Cardinals -170 / Pittsburgh Pirates +150 --- Over/Under: 8
The Pittsburgh Pirates and the St. Louis Cardinals meet in game two of their three game NL Central division set from Busch Stadium in MLB action on Wednesday.
The Pittsburgh Pirates are in dire need of a win after losing six of their last seven games following a 5-2 loss in the series opener on Tuesday. Colin Moran went 2 for 3 with an RBI while Francisco Cervelli matched that mark at the plate and Josh Bell added a double. Starling Marte added a base hit of his own as the Bucs put forth just six hits as a team in the losing effort. Ivan Nova took the loss falling to 7-9 this season after allowing four runs on six hits over just 3.2 innings of work. Trevor Williams will start game two and is 10-9 with a 3.44 ERA and 90 strikeouts this season. In his career, Williams is 2-4 with a 6.93 ERA and 30 strikeouts against St. Louis.
The St. Louis Cardinals will look to stay hot after posting yet another win in the series opener on Tuesday. Jose Martinez and Tyler O’Neill each had two RBIs coming on a two-run home run, while Greg Garcia added an RBI of his own to round out the scoring for St. Louis in the victory. Matt Carpenter went 2 for 5 while Yadier Molina and Jedd Gyorko each contributed a double. Harrison Bader and starting pitcher Jack Flaherty each contributed base hits to cap off the Cardinals’ offense in the winning effort. Flaherty got the win to improve to 8-6 after allowing one run on four hits while striking out five over seven innings of work. Bud Norris closed out the 9th for his 28th save of the campaign. Miles Mikolas will start game two and is 13-3 with a 2.94 ERA and 112 strikeouts this season. In his career, Mikolas is 1-1 with a 2.91 ERA and 17 strikeouts against Pittsburgh.
Pittsburgh is 1-4 in Williams’ last 5 division starts and 1-6 in their last 7 games overall while the under is 33-16-2 in Williams’ last 51 starts overall. St. Louis is 9-1 in Mikolas’ last 10 starts against a team with a losing record and 20-6 in their last 26 games overall while the over is 7-3 in Mikolas’ last 10 starts overall. Pittsburgh is 1-5 in Williams’ last 6 starts against St. Louis.
The plus money with Pittsburgh is tempting as you could argue that Williams has been the best or second best arm in Pittsburgh’s rotation this season, and that Mikolas has allowed four runs in two of his last three starts. However, Williams has a career ERA just shy of seven in his career against St. Louis and an ERA just under six against the Cardinals this season. And while Mikolas has had a couple of bumpy outings, it hasn’t mattered as the Cardinals have won Mikolas’ last six starts overall. Mikolas has become the team ace this season and given how hot the Cardinals have been over the last month, I think St. Louis on the run line has to be the play here considering that Pittsburgh appears to have run out of gas.