Pirates vs. Cardinals, 9/30/16 - Preview & Prediction

Game Snapshot

#909 Pittsburgh Pirates
vs.
#910 St. Louis Cardinals

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Image licensed from USA Today Sports
Pittsburgh Pirates vs. St. Louis Cardinals

MLB Baseball:  Friday, September 30th, 8:15 pm EST

Line:  St. Louis -189/Pittsburgh +179

Total: 8

Probables:  Tyler Glasnow (0-1, 4.91 ERA) vs. Carlos Martinez (15-9, 3.15 ERA)

The Pirates and Cardinals face off in their final series of the regular season.  The Pirates were eliminated while the Cardinals may well be playing until their final game of the season to find out if they can get into the wild card game with either the Mets or Giants.  The Cardinals lost on Wednesday night in what could have been a catastrophic loss, but the Giants lost late Wednesday night as well, keeping the Cards only one game back.  The Cardinals catch a huge break in this game as the Pirates throw out a pitcher who has three career starts to his name.

Tyler Glasnow looks for his first career win

Tyler Glasnow gets the call for the Pirates, much to the chagrin of the Mets and the Giants.  I’m sure they’d like the Pirates to throw out some starters with more than three career starts, but the Pirates can do what they want, and they are trying to get a read on some of their Triple A prospects.  In his young career he has yet to go over 5.1 innings in a game, and has yet to record a win.  He does have 20 strikeouts in 18.1 innings, so he may very well have good stuff. He gave up four runs (three earned) along with seven hits in just three innings in his last start against Washington on Sept.25. That was his firs start since July 23.

The Cardinals counter with Carlos Martinez

While the Pirates trot out some rookie, the Cardinals will go with their best starter of this year.  While Adam Wainwright is better known, Carlos Martinez has been the true ace of the Cards this year.  He’s gone 15-9 with an ERA that is just barely over three, and he’s been solid the whole year.  He’s allowed two earned runs or less in seven of his last eight starts, so you know he is pitching well down the stretch.  Martinez gave up just two earned runs in his last start against the Cubs on Sept. 25 (3-1 loss), but did walk four in six innings. He hasn’t faced the Pirates since the 4th of July when he took the loss while allowing three earned runs over seven innings.

Baseball Trends:

The Pittsburgh Pirates are:

  • 1-4 in their last 5 vs. a team with a winning record.
  • 1-5 in their last 6 games vs. a right-handed starter.

The St. Louis Cardinals are:

  • 28-10 in Martinez’s last 38 starts following a Quality Start in his last appearance.
  • 19-9 in Martinez’s last 28 starts vs. National League Central.

It’s hard to go against the Cardinals here.  They are at home, they have the advantage on the mound, and maybe most importantly, they need this game badly.  This is likely to go down to the last game of the season, so each game is huge.  I think Martinez shuts down the Pirate offense and win easily.  Let’s take the Cardinals at home.

Prediction: St. Louis -189

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Big B

Known as Big B since his time at UCSB, Brian O’Sullivan is a novelist, screenwriter, & poker player who follows sports religiously. His betting style would be considered that of a contrarian, and he likes to bet against the general public. It seems to be working. You can find him at the coffee shops of Vegas, hanging with his family in SF, or at the bars of LA.