St. Louis Cardinals (61-58; 61-51-7 O/U) vs. Pittsburgh Pirates (58-61; 47-66-6 O/U)
MLB: Thursday, August 17, 2017 at 7:05pm EST
Line: Pittsburgh -109/St. Louis -101
The Pittsburgh Pirates and the St. Louis Cardinals will kick off a four game divisional series Thursday night from PNC Park. The Cardinals will give the call to 35-year old right-hander Adam Wainwright, and 25-year old right-hander Jameson Taillon will take the mound for the Pirates. The Cardinals lead the season series 5-4.
Wainright Strong Again in Win Over Braves
Adam Wainwright will take the mound for the 23rd time of the season, looking to continue his excellent work as of late. Wainwright limited the Braves to only one run in five innings in his latest effort, and recorded the win to boost his record to 12-5. Wainwright has turned his season around in the second half, and is now carrying a 4.87 ERA and a 1.46 WHIP in 118.1 innings pitched. He held the Pirates to only two runs (one earned) in seven innings earlier this season and finished with the no decision. He currently features a 13-7 record with a 4.11 ERA in 190.1 career innings against the Bucs. Josh Harrison is 9 for 27 against Wainwright, while Andrew McCutchen is 17 for 59 with nine RBI’s, and Gregory Polanco is 3 for 17. Paul DeJong continues to shine at the plate, belting three home runs along with nine RBI’s over his last eight games. The 24-year old shortstop is having a tremendous rookie season, hitting .300 with 18 home runs and 43 RBI’s in 65 games. DeJong has recorded a hit in 5 of 23 at bats with three RBI’s against the Pirates this season.
The Cardinals are swinging the bats well and are now averaging 4.66 runs per game, ranking them 17th overall, and are hitting .260 as a team. The St. Louis pitching has been terrific, sporting a 3.86 team ERA, good for sixth in the Major Leagues.
Taillon Shines in Win Over Toronto
Jameson Taillon will make his 18th start of the season, aiming for his second straight victory. Tallinn was terrific in his previous start, holding the Blue Jays to two runs in six innings and notched the win to improve his record to 7-5. The young right-hander has tossed two straight Quality Starts and now owns a 4.50 ERA and a 1.48 WHIP in 92 innings of work. He has conceded a total of eight runs with an 0-1 record in his three career starts against the Cardinals. Dexter Fowler is 0 for 6 against Taillon, while Matt Carpenter is 3 for 9, and Yadier Molina is 0 for 4. Jordy Mercer has been very quiet offensively, hitting a poor .170 this month with three RBI’s. The 30-year old shortstop is having a solid season overall, hitting .252 with a 11 home runs and 47 RBI’s, and is on pace for a career-high 63 RBI’s. Mercer has collected a hit in 8 of 33 at bats with four RBI’s against the Cardinals this season.
The Pirates are currently scoring an average of 4.17 runs per game, ranking them 27th in the Majors, and own a .245 team batting average. The Pittsburgh pitching has been solid, now featuring a 4.18 team ERA, placing the 12th in the Major Leagues.
The St. Louis Cardinals are:
- 8-2 in their last 10 games overall.
- 4-1 in Wainwright’s last 5 starts against the Pirates.
- 17-6 in their last 23 games against a starter with a WHIP above 1.30.
- 42-13 in Wainwright’s last 55 starts against a team with a losing record.
The Pittsburgh Pirates are:
- 5-11 in their last 16 games against the Cardinals.
I am taking the Cardinals in this contest. Wainwright continues to shine, allowing two or fewer runs in six out of his last eight starts, and he limited the Pirates to only two runs (one earned) in his lone start against them this season. Furthermore, Taillon possesses a poor 4.88 ERA at PNC Park this season, and right now the Cardinals bats are hot, averaging a sizzling 7.5 runs over their last ten games.