Friday night baseball and we will see the Pittsburgh Pirates travel to take on the St Louis Cardinals in game 1 of their 3 game series. The game is scheduled for an 8:05 pm start time and it will be televised live locally. Currently the odds have the Cardinals favored at -214, while the Pirates are dogs of +200. The total for the game sits at 8.5 runs.
Free Analysis: The Pirates and Cardinals were tied for second in the National League Central before Pittsburgh salvaged a four-game series split in Philadelphia with a 5-4 victory on Thursday, improving to 20-11 since May 25. Despite a largely punchless offense, the Pirates have remained in playoff contention behind a strong pitching staff that ranks fifth in the major leagues with a 3.47 ERA. Starters A.J. Burnett and James McDonald are a combined 14-5, and the back-end bullpen combination of Jason Grilli and Joel Hanrahan has been extremely effective. The Pirates produced 16 runs and 21 hits over their final two games in Philadelphia, after compiling nine and 21, respectively, over three consecutive defeats. The Pirates really have just one offensive star and that is Andrew McCutchen, who is hitting .336 with 14 HR's and 48 RBI's. Andrew is also 7-18 vs adam Wainright, but without a HR or an RBI. INF Casey McGehee is just 1-for-15 in his career against Wainwright, while RF Jose Tabata is 4-for-9 with a home run and three RBIs. 3-6 Kevin Correia with a 4.03 ERA goes against the Cards on Friday. Kevin is 2-4 wit a 4.64 ERA on the road, including 1-4 with a 5.87 ERA in his last six road starts. Versus the Cards he is 2-3 with a 3.65 ERA in 6 starts against them. He's allowed a combined 16 runs in the three losses and zero in the other three games. The Pirates have been awful on the road in recent years, winning just 78 of their last 245 away games. They are 17-22 away from home this season. The up-and-down Cardinals had a five-game win streak snapped in Miami on Wednesday. St. Louis has won both series between the clubs this season, taking four of the six games. The Cardinals batted .333 and .310 with runners in scoring position while winning two of three over the Pirates at home May 1-3. They also won two of three in Pittsburgh from April 20-22 despite hitting .228 and .129 with runners in scoring position. St. Louis hitters are a combined 36-for-118 (.305) against Correia, led by INF Skip Schumacher (7-for-16, 2 2B, RBI). The Cardinals have batted .308 overall and outscored opponents 46-28 over the last six contests, but Wainwright (6-7, 4.32 ERA) might not need much support if he has another superb performance at home. The right-hander, though, will certainly use all the help he can get. Wainwright is 2-1 with a 1.24 ERA over his last four starts at Busch Stadium, but is winless over his last two while receiving a combined three runs of support. His teammates gave him plenty of runs in an 8-2 win Saturday in Kansas City, where he allowed two runs over seven innings. Wainwright, though, hasn't been as dominant lately against Pittsburgh - posting a 4.19 ERA in his last six matchups. However, he's 5-1 in those games thanks to a combined 42 runs of support and a good portion came during a 10-7 win May 1.
Free Pick: Let's look to the Over in this one. I know that Adam has been dominant in his last 4 home starts, with a 1.24 ERA, but he has struggled some vs Pittsburgh in the past, posting a 4.19 ERA in his last 6 starts vs them. he has a 3.95 ERA in his last 4 starts vs them here, with each one of those games putting up 9+ runs. Kevin Correia has a 5.87 ERA in his last 6 road starts and Cardinal hitters have hit .309 with 2 HR's and 13 RBI's in 110 AB's off of him. When Pitt was here earlier in the year The Cards hit .333 and scored 25 runs in the 3 game set and numbers like that could continue here as they are swinging hot bats, as they have hit .308 and have scored 46 runs in their last 6 games. Pittsburgh comes in having put up 16 runs in their last 2 games and they average 4.1 rpg on the road, compared to under 3.5 rpg at home. They should be good for a few off of Wainright in this one. Both offenses should be able to combine for at least 9 runs in this one.
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