Sunday night baseball I will have a Free Pick in the game between the St Louis Cardinals and the Pittsburgh Pirates, which will be played at PNC Park in Pittsburgh. First pitch is scheduled for a 8:05 PM (Eastern) start time and the game will be televised on ESPN.
St Louis +157
Over/ Under: 7 U -135
This is game 4 of a 4 game series between these National League Central foes. Last night the Pirates and the Cards were involved in a long 14 inning game, in which the Pirates came back from one run down in the bottom of the 14th to win the game. The Pirates continue to be a hot team as they have won 10 of their last 12 games and have closed the gap in the AL Central to just 3.5 games behind St Louis. The Cards have been hit hard with injuries this year and they may be a team that you should look to fade for much of he second half.
The Cardinals rank 20th in scoring (3.98 rpg), 7th in hitting (.257) and 25th in homers (68), while on the mound they are 1st in ERA (2.67) and 6th in WHIP (1.20). Pittsburgh ranks 17th in scoring (4.02 rpg), 13th in hitting (.255) and 26th in homers (67), while on the mound they are 2nd in ERA (2.84) and 5th in WHIP (1.20).
Getting the ball for Cardinals tonight will be Tim Cooney, who has 3 career starts, with all being this year and he is 0-0 with a 3.95 ERA in those starts. None were vs the Pirates.
Toeing the rubber for the Pirates tonight will be Francisco Liriano, who is 5-6 with a 2.99 ERA in 17 starts this year, while at home he has gone 2-4 with a 3.98 ERA in 9 starts. Liriano is 4-2 with a 2.38 ERA in 10 career starts vs the Cardinals.
Pick: Not the best spot to go with an Under as both teams used their pens in the 14 inning game last night, but I still expect this to be a low scoring game. First off the Cards are a terrible hitting team vs lefties and Liriano is hot as he has a 1.80 ERA in his last 3 starts and a 2.05 ERA in his last 5 starts at home. His last 3 starts have seen no more than 5 runs scored, while Pirate home games overall have averaged just 6.96 rpg. The Pirates have also struggled vs lefties this year, scoring just 3.38 rp/9 off of them and they will be facing a pitcher they have not seen yet. After a rough first start, Tim Cooney has pitched well in his last 2 starts, posting a 2.55 ERA in those starts. These are the top two pitching staffs in the league and will be taking on two teams that don't hit lefties at all and in a pitcher's park. Sounds like a recipe for an under play to me.
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