Pittsburgh (65-44) at St. Louis (71-40)
When: Tuesday, August 11th, 2015
Where: Busch Stadium, St. Louis, MO
Time: 8:15 ET
TV: DirecTV 659, 671 Radio: XM 186
The red-hot Pittsburgh Pirates travel to St. Louis for a big 3-game series with the Cardinals at Busch Stadium. The Pirates have won 4 games in a row including an impressive 3-game sweep of the Dodgers this past weekend. That moves Pittsburgh to within 5 games of the Cardinals in the National League Central. The Pirates have scored 31 runs in this four game winning streak, but have also allowed 20. Their pitching is usually a little bit better as they have the 2nd best ERA in the majors. Pirates fans won’t care about stats as long as their team keeps winning like they are. Pittsburgh really needs to take 2 of 3 in this series if they want a shot at winning the division. If they get swept, then the Cardinals should probably wrap up the Central by early September.
Jeff Locke makes his 22nd start tonight and he has not fared well in his last 5 starts. Overall he’s 6-6 with a 4.31 ERA, but has allowed 18 runs (15 earned) in his last five including a 4-1 loss to St. Louis on July 9th. He has allowed 10 hits and 7 runs in his two starts against the Cardinals this year. He’ll need to be on his game tonight.
The Cardinals are an MLB best 71-40 despite their set back on Sunday in which they lost their first game of the year when leading after 7 innings. In the three games prior to Sunday, they shut out each of their opponents 3-0, 6-0, 3-0. The Pirates might have great pitching, but the Cardinals are number 1 with a 2.60 team ERA. Third baseman Matt Carpenter has been on fire lately hitting 4 home runs in his last 6 games and driving in 8. Not bad for a leadoff hitter. The Cardinals can all but put away the National League Central this week with a clean sweep of the Pirates.
Carlos Martinez takes the mound tonight for the 21st time as a starter. He definitely has All-Star numbers this year with his 11-4 record and sparkling 2.57 ERA. He pitched 8 innings of shutout ball on July 25th, but has been hit a little in his last 2 starts. In 10 innings he has allowed 16 hits and 8 runs in two no-decisions. He is 1-1 against the Pirates this year pitching 7.1 shutout innings on July 9th, but getting rocked for 7 runs in 5.1 innings on May 9th.
The pitching matchup favors the Cardinals tonight, but I think the Pirates momentum carries them to a win tonight.
Pick: Pirates +140