St Louis (73-64) at Pittsburgh (67-69)
When: Wednesday, September 7th 2016
Where: PNC Park, Pittsburgh, PA
Time: 7:05 ET | TV: ESPN
The St. Louis Cardinals look to keep pounding away at the fading Pittsburgh Pirates when they try for the three-game sweep on Wednesday night. Matt Carpenter, Randal Grichuk and Jhonny Peralta each homered with two outs in the ninth inning last night to spark the Cardinals to a 9-7 victory over the Pirates and keep them one game ahead of the Mets for the second wild card and a half-game behind the leading Giants. It was the 25th straight game in which the Cardinals have hit a homerun, which ties them for the longest streak in NL history. Pittsburgh is playing their way right out of the Wild Card race (5.5 GB) by losing their last eight games. Their pitching staff has allowed an average of seven runs a game during the slide and pitcher Tony Watson suffered a blown save in each of his last two chances. Pittsburgh will try and break the streak tonight before the lowly Cincinnati Reds come to town for four games.
Pitchers: Cardinals – Mike Leake (9-9, 4.56 ERA) | Pirates – Jameson Taillon (3-4, 3.25)
Mike Leake will make his first start in two weeks after being out with shingles and is hoping to pick up right where he left off. Leake struck out eight and scattered seven hits across seven scoreless innings to earn a win at Philadelphia on August 21st. He was hit for five runs in six innings to suffer a loss against Pittsburgh on July 5th and is 9-5 with a 3.28 ERA in 27 career starts against the division rivals.
Jameson Taillon is coming off another quality start – his ninth in 10 outings – but suffered a 1-0 loss against Milwaukee on Friday. He allowed one run and three hits in six innings. Taillon is seeing St. Louis for the first time in his career and is 1-2 with a 2.70 ERA in eight home starts.
The way the Cardinals are hitting and the Pirates are pitching, it’s hard not to take the over in this one. Pittsburgh has scored 13 runs in the last two games and they hit Leake pretty hard two months ago. Eight is not a large number in this one tonight.
Pick: Over 8 -120