St Louis (98-58) at Pittsburgh (95-61)
When: Monday, September 28th, 2015
Where: PNC Park, Pittsburgh, PA
Time: 7:05 ET
TV: ESPN2 Radio: XM 89
The Cardinals visit Pittsburgh with a chance to end the National League Central race this week. The Cardinals own a 3-game lead over the Pirates with just 7 days left to go. The Cardinals have slowly seen their big lead in the division shrink over the last 2 months, but still own the best record in baseball. The Cards slumped a little bit to begin September, but have since turned it on. They have won 6 of their last 8 after splitting their 4-game series against the Brewers this weekend. They now end their season on the road with 3 in Pittsburgh and 3 in Atlanta. Tonight’s starter is Lance Lynn and I don’t know what to expect out of him. He shut down the Giants on August 29th, then had three straight terrible outings until his most recent outing when he shut down the Reds. Overall he’s 12-10 with a 3.16 ERA.
The Pittsburgh Pirates run toward the top of the N.L. Central came to a temporary halt last night when they were shut out by Jake Arrieta and the Cubs. Pittsburgh had won 9 games in a row to get back into it. They’re not out of it yet. A sweep against the Cardinals would put them in a tie for first. Anything less and they probably just get the Wild Card game against Arrieta again. The Pirates get their last 6 games at home against these Cardinals and the Reds. J.A. Happ, who starts tonight, has seen a resurgence in his season since coming to Pittsburgh. He’s 6-2 with the Pirates with a 2.28 ERA. He’s faced the Cardinals once this year and pitched 7 shutout inning allowing just 3 hits and striking out 8. The Pirates are an even 8-8 against the Cardinals this year, but have won 8 of the last 13.
Lance Lynn has actually been pretty bad against the Pirates this year and Pittsburgh is on a roll. I can easily see them sweeping this series and setting up a dramatic weekend. I’ll take them tonight.
Pick: Pirates -1.5 +160