August 1, 2013 at 3:25 PM #52515
Qbin Missile CrisisKeymaster
St. Louis Cardinals (62-44) vs Pittsburgh Pirates
Thursday August 1
PNC Park – Pittsburgh, PA
STL: Joe Kelly ® PIT: Charlie Morton (R)
Moneyline: Pittsburgh -115, St. Louis +106 Over/Under: 8
What is going on with the St. Louis Cardinals? They entered their important series with the Pittsburgh Pirates on a 3 game losing streak and now have lost the first 4 of their very rare 5 game set. After this one against the Pirates they travel to Cincinnati so if they don’t get out of their current funk they could find themselves in third place before they know it. Hard to put a finger on just one thing during this slide but if you had to it must be the offense. Over the course of 7 games they have scored more than 2 runs just once.
It shows the depth of St. Louis that they can turn to a guy like Joe Kelly when they need him. He has made 5 straight starts for the Cardinals and given up the following ER: 0, 1, 4, 1, 0. As you can see from those figures he is giving the Cards a great chance to win even though he is not pitching deep into ballgames. He has faced Pittsburgh twice this season, both in relief back in April. The first time he breezed through an inning in a 9-1 St. Louis victory. The next night he was tagged for a loss as he gave up 4ER in just a third of an inning. Russell Martin tagged him for a homer in that one.
With all due respect to the Tampa Rays and Los Angeles Dodgers the Pittsburgh Pirates are doing something really special right now. The best team in the league walked into their house and they have beat them 4 straight times to overtake them. The Pirates have the top ERA in the Majors and are looking more and more like a serious threat, not just to make the playoffs but to win there. It is generally a total team effort but I wanted to point out that 3B Pedro Alvarez is now leading the National League in homers – just in case you were wondering who these guys were making all this noise.
Not only are the Pirates getting great pitching but their rotation has lengthened since Charlie Morton became available. Morton has made 8 starts for the Pirates and the team in 6-2 in those games. He has not been dominant but has kept his walks down and that has been the key. On this year’s Pirates team he doesn’t have to be excellent to be a victor as the team has a better lineup and attitude than they have at any point since he joined the club from Atlanta back in 2009. He is looking like a different pitcher this season and that is a good thing.
O/U: Over Score Prediction: Pittsburgh 6 – St. Louis 5
It seems improbable that the Pirates can beat the Cardinals 5 times in a row but the pitching matchup is in their favour and obviously momentum is on their side. Great value on a hot team with them only as slight favourites. The streak will end eventually but I think they can wring another victory out of it.
You must be logged in to reply to this topic.