Pittsburgh Pirates (65-68) at St. Louis Cardinals (74-59)
|Date & Time||Thursday August 30, 2018, 7:15 PM (EDT)|
The Line: St. Louis Cardinals -120 / Pittsburgh Pirates +110 --- Over/Under: 8.5
The Pittsburgh Pirates and the St. Louis Cardinals meet in the rubber match of their three game NL Central division set from Busch Stadium in MLB action on Thursday.
The Pittsburgh Pirates will look to win the set after evening the series up at one win apiece following a 2-0 victory in game two on Wednesday. Gregory Polanco and Starling Marte each added an RBI to round out Pittsburgh’s scoring in the win. Corey Dickerson and Adam Frazier each went 2 for 4 with Frazier adding a double while Jordy Mercer added a double of his own. Josh Bell and Colin Moran each added a base hit to cap off Pittsburgh’s offense in victory. Trevor Williams got the win to improve to 11-9 this season after tossing six shutout innings, allowing just three hits while striking out eight. Felipe Vazquez threw a scoreless 9th for his 28th save of the season. Joe Musgrove will start game three and is 5-7 with a 3.56 ERA and 73 strikeouts this season. This will be Musgrove’s second career start against St. Louis.
The St. Louis Cardinals will look to bounce back after being held off of the scoresheet for the first time since the all-star break. Yadier Molina, Paul DeJong and Yairo Munoz each added a double while Jose Martinez and Matt Adams each had a base hit as the Cards put up just five hits as a team in the losing effort. Miles Mikolas took the loss, falling to 13-4 this season after allowing two runs on eight hits while striking out five over five innings of work. John Gant will start game three and is 5-5 with a 3.56 ERA and 72 strikeouts this season. In his career, Gant is 0-1 with a 6.75 ERA and 14 strikeouts against Pittsburgh.
Pittsburgh is 1-4 in Musgrove’s last 5 starts and 2-6 in their last 8 road games while the over is 8-1 in their last 9 Thursday games. St. Louis is 4-11 in Gant’s last 15 starts and 21-7 in their last 28 games overall while the under is 5-1-1 in their last 7 home games. Pittsburgh is 2-5 in the last 7 meetings between these two teams and 16-37 in the last 53 meetings between these two teams in St. Louis.
I got burned by going with St. Louis last night, but let’s face it. We’ve made more money backing the Cardinals during this hot stretch than we’ve lost, and while Musgrove threw seven shutout innings in his lone start against St. Louis, he’s also coming off of a start in which he allowed four runs in four innings of work. Gant has had his issues with the Pirates in his career, but he’s allowed two runs or less in seven of his last eight starts and we are getting the hotter team at a low price so I’ll bite one more time and back St. Louis here.