August 15, 2013 at 12:38 PM #52606
Qbin Missile CrisisKeymaster
Pirates (71-48) vs Cardinals (68-51)
Pittsburgh came back to even their series against St. Louis last night behind another brilliant outing by lefty starter Francisco Liriano, who like the rest of the team was “off” in their weekend series against Colorado.
Thursday August 15
Busch Stadium – St. Louis, MO
PIT: A.J. Burnett (R)
STL: Lance Lynn (R)
Moneyline: St. Louis -122, Pittsburgh +112
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Another familiar sight was seeing 3B Pedro Alvarez go yard. He has 29 homers, tied with Paul Goldschmidt of the Diamondbacks for the National League lead. The big lefty slugger has struggled against Lance Lynn in the past but two of his three career hits against him have gone for extra bases, including a homer.
That is pretty much what you should expect from this boom or bust slugger.
Starter A.J. Burnett had one of his worst outings of the season as the Pirates got swept by Colorado over the weekend. The whole team was struggling and given that the game was in Coors I don’t think we need to read too much into it – especially because Burnett has been consistently good, if not a winner, all season long.
He is 1-0 against the Cardinals this season though and has given up just 8 hits in 13 innings. He should hold up his end of the bargain in making this a very well pitched game.
This is a big series and after taking the first game the Cardinals are at least hoping to win the finale and gain a little ground on Pittsburgh – both teams have been overtaken by Atlanta and the Dodgers are charging hard for NL supremacy.
St. Louis really hasn’t been playing well for a while and that lineup which was so solid has taken too many nights off lately while the pitching isn’t as effective as it used to be. The Cardinals are actually in a dead heat with the Cincinnati Reds but both teams have a solid cushion of 5 games in the Wild Card race.
Though even that won’t last forever.
Though in just his second season, and already a big winner, Lance Lynn doesn’t get that much attention.
His numbers are not as gaudy as Adam Wainright’s or Shelby Millers but he is a winner and is on track to match or maybe even best last year’s win total of 18. This should be a good spot for him as he has a 4-1 record against Pittsburgh for his career and is 8-2 at home this season.
That lone loss was in the last series between the two clubs so he will be seeking some revenge after a 2-1 decision.
The Pirates have more than proved their staying power as they inch ever closer to their first .500+ season in a while.
Again they seem to be catching St. Louis at the right time and after Liriano silenced some bats yesterday it doesn’t get much easier for the Cards today. I will gladly take the extra value with the team playing better even it it is a road dog.
O/U Pick: Over
Score Prediction: Pittsburgh 6 – St. Louis 4
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