Last night the St. Louis Cardinals cooled off the Pittsburgh Pirates by shutting them down 4-1 behind Carlos Martinez’s gem. The Pirates had won 8 out of 10 entering the game and were within 4.5 games of the Cardinals. Andrew McCutchen did extend his hitting streak to 18 games with a 9th inning home run. McCutchen started the season out slowly and was hitting only .234 on May 6th. He’s brought that average all the way up to .308 and is looking like the All-Star player that he is. It’s not a coincidence that the Pirates are also playing better. If their very good starting pitching can hold up, the Pirates just might catch the Cardinals before the season is over. I think they definitely get the Wild Card at least.
All-Star Gerrit Cole will be making his 18th start this year. He is 12-3, 2.28 ERA, and 113 K’s in 110 innings. He hasn’t been as sharp in his last 3 outings going 1-1 with a 4.66 ERA and a 1.34 WHIP. This will be his first start against the Cardinals this year after going 1-2 last year in 4 starts with a 3.44 ERA.
The Pirates might have the 2nd best ERA in the Majors, but the Cardinals are number 1 with a 2.63 team ERA. That’s the main reason they have the best record in the League at 56-30. With last night’s win they have now won 5 of their last 7. They won in dramatic fashion Wednesday night against their rivals the Cubs with a Johnny Peralta 9th inning home run. It’s not just their starting pitching that has been great, their bullpen has a 2.30 ERA this year as well. Closer Trevor Rosenthal is 26 for 27 in save opportunities to go along with his 0.67 ERA.
Lance Lynn goes for the Cardinals tonight and he’s been brilliant in his last 3 starts. He’s only allowed 1 earned run in 19 innings while striking out 20. Granted, he was going against the White Sox, Marlins, and Padres, but still impressive. He was great against the Pirates on May 1st pitching 7 innings and allowing 1 run, but did not factor into the decision. He’ll look for more run support tonight.
The Cardinals are 5-2 against Pittsburgh this year and now they’re underdogs tonight. I’ll take them.
Pick: Cardinals +120