Pittsburgh (80-53) at St. Louis (86-48)
When: Saturday, September 5th, 2015
Where: Busch Stadium, St. Louis, MO
Time: 4:05 ET
TV: Fox Sports 1 Radio: XM 186
The Pittsburgh Pirates took their first step last night in their effort to try and catch the front-running St. Louis Cardinals. The Pirates banged out 17 hits en route to a 9-3 win. That win moves them to within 5.5 games of the Cardinals in the National League Central. They have little room for error, because even a weekend sweep puts them still 3.5 out. Starling Marte led the way with 3 hits and 3 RBI for Pittsburgh while J.A. Happ improved to 4-1 with 7 shutout innings. Charlie Morton will take the mound tonight in hopes of repeating Happ’s performance. It won’t be easy as Morton has given up 10 runs in his last 11 innings over 2 losing starts to Colorado and Miami. He has a road ERA of 5.62 on the season. Look for the Cardinals to run a little more as Morton has allowed 13 of 13 base runners to steal against him this year.
St. Louis is by no means panicking. They still own Baseball’s best record at 86-48 and have the best overall pitching staff with an ERA of 2.72 and 92 quality starts. Closer Trevor Rosenthal is 42 for 44 in save opportunities this year with a 1.49 ERA. The Cardinals might have just lost 2 in a row, but they still have won 9 of their last 12. Jaime Garcia looks to stop the streak today. He’s been great in his 14 starts this year. He owns a 7-4 record, 2.03 ERA, and has only allowed 4 home runs. He has won 4 straight decisions and 6 of his last 7. The Cardinals are also 6-0 in his last 6 starts.
I can’t see the Cardinals losing three games in a row especially with today’s pitching matchup. They will bounce back today and beat the Pirates handily.
Pick: Cardinals -1.5 +150