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Cardinals vs. Pirates,
8-19-2017 - Pick and Prediction

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Game Snapshot with Current Line

#951 St. Louis Cardinals
Cardinals
#952 Pittsburgh
Pirates

Saturday, August 19, 2017 at 4:05pm

Image licensed from USA Today Sports

Game Stats

St. Louis Cardinals Cardinals
M. WACHA

63 - 59

9
W's
5
L's
3.85
ERA
1.32
WHIP

Pittsburgh Pirates
C. KUHL

58 - 64

5
W's
8
L's
4.64
ERA
1.44
WHIP

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St Louis Cardinals (62-59 SU, 58-63 RL, 62-52-7 O/U) vs Pittsburgh Pirates (58-63 SU, 61-60 RL, 49-66-6 O/U)

When: 4:05 PM EDT, Saturday, August 19, 2017

Where: PNC Park in Pittsburgh, PA

Lines: St Louis -109/ Pittsburgh -101

Total: 9

Saturday afternoon MLB action and a pair of National League Central foes will square off as the St Louis Cardinals battle it out with the Pittsburgh Pirates at PNC {Park in Pittsburgh, PA in game three of their four-game set. Pitching Probables: Michael Wacha (9-5, 3.85 ERA) will get the nod for the Cardinals in this one and he will be opposed by Chad Kuhl (5-8, 4.64 ERA).

The Offense Stays Hot In Pittsburgh

The St Louis Cardinals have been playing well of late as they have won nine of their last 12 games to move to within 1.5 games of the first place Cubs in the National League Central. A big reason for the recent surge has been their offense which has averaged 7.82 rpg in their last 11 games. The offense has not been good for much of the year, but it is hot at the right moment. The Pitching has been what has led them for much of the year, but lately that pitching has broken down as they have allowed 6.13 rpg in their last eight games. If this teams ever gets their pitching and offense on the same page then they will be very tough to beat. The Cardinals have gone 27-32 on the road and have averaged 4.92 rpg and have allowed 4.66 rpg in those games. Toeing the rubber for the Cardinals in this one will be Michael Wacha and he has gone 9-5 with a 3.85 ERA in 22 starts on the year, including 1-1 with a 4.80 ERA in his last three starts and 2-3 with a 5.11 ERA in nine starts on the road. Wacha has gone 6-1 with a 2.85 ERA in 17 games (11 starts) during the month of August and 19-8 with a 3.16 ERA in 39 games (36 starts) in the daytime, while against the Pirates he has gone 4-2 with a 3.94 ERA in 12 games (11 starts), including 1-1 with a 5.81 ERA in five starts here at PNC Park.

The Cardinals have been a below average offensive team so far as they come in ranked 15th in the league in scoring, putting up 4.70 rpg, while also ranking 7th in hitting at .261 and 21st in homers with 141. On the mound, they have been solid as they come in ranked 6th in the league in ERA at 3.89, while also ranking 11th in WHIP at 1.30.

Rough Outing From Taillon And Pen In Game One

The Pittsburgh Pirates are trying to stay alive in the race for the National League Central title, but it has not been easy of late as they have now lost their last five games in a row, following an 11-7 loss to the Cardinals on Thursday. The pitching has been what has led them this year, but that pitching has left them of late as they have a 6.59 ERA in their last five games. That includes an ERA of 9.69 from their pen over that stretch and their pen really struggled in the 11-7 loss to the Cardinals. Jameson Taillon got the start in the game and he struggled as he allowed four ERs on seven hits in 5.0 innings of work. The pen then allowed seven ERs over the last four innings of work. Joaquin Benoit allowed three ERs in just a third of an inning to take the loss and he is now 1-6 with a 4.94 ERA on the year. Wade Leblanc also had a rough outing as he allowed four ERs in just one inning of work. The Pirates are now 32-27 here at home and have averaged 3.83 rpg and have allowed 4.61 rpg in those games. Chad Kuhl will be called upon for the Pirates in this one and he has gone 5-8 with a 4.64 ERA in 24 starts on the year, including 2-1 with a 3.50 ERA in his last three starts and 3-4 with a 5.15 ERA in 12 starts here at home. Kuhl has gone 4-3 with a 3.42 ERA in eight career starts in August and 1-2 with a 3.04 ERA in 11 career starts in the daytime, plus he is 5-7 with a 5.71 ERA in 18 career starts in this park, while against the Cardinals he has gone 0-2 with a 5.50 ERA in four starts.

Pittsburgh has been a poor offensive team this year so far as they come in ranked 27th in the league in scoring, putting up just 4.21 rpg, while also ranking 22nd in hitting at .247 and 29th in homers with 112. On the mound, they have been decent so far as they come in ranked 13th in the league in ERA at 4.27, while also ranking 13th in WHIP at 1.36.

Trends

St Louis is:

  • 20-8 in their last 28 games vs. a starter with a WHIP greater than 1.30
  • 24-9 in Wacha’s last 33 starts vs. a team with a losing record

Pittsburgh is:

  • 3-12 in Kuhl’s last 15 starts vs. a team with a winning record
  • 5-12 their last 17 games in this series

St Louis is playing very well at the moment and they have been led by their offense, while the Pirates are struggling and it has been their pitching that has let them down. Chad Kuhl gets the nod for the pirates in this one and he has pitched well of late as he is 2-1 with a 3.50 ERA in his last three starts, but he is just 3-4 with a 5.15 ERA at home. Pitching here has been an issue for him in his career as he is now 5-7 with a 5.71 ERA in 18 career starts in this park. He is also 0-2 with a 5.50 ERA in four starts against the Cardinals and St Louis has averaged 7.92 rpg in their last 11 games. Michael Wacha has gone 2-3 with a 5.11 ERA on the road and 1-1 with a 5.81 ERA in his career in this park, but still, the Cardinals are the hotter team with the much better offense and will walk away with a win in this one.

Pick: St Louis -109

The Cardinals have been getting great offense lately, while their pitching has struggled. The Pirates have struggled on the mound of late, but their offense has not been that good all year. This pitching matchup indicates a high-scoring game, but I will not go that way as both starters should be able to hold these offenses down in this one and PNC Park is not a high-scoring park. Kuhl does have a 5.15 ERA at home for the year, but still, his home starts have averaged just 7.83 rpg and he does have a solid 2.88 ERA in seven day starts. Michael Wacha has a 5.11 ERA on the road, but he also has a 2.75 ERA in seven day starts and those games have averaged just 8.00 rpg. Looking inside the numbers reveals a lower scoring game than many think.

Pick: Under 9

Confidence: 3

David Hess (@DavidHess311)

I have always had a fascination with numbers and sports, so I combined the two to become a handicapper and a blogger. I love sports and I love writing about them and all the info I put in my blogs is well-thought-out and well-researched. I am a big fan of all the major sports and the colleges, plus I know golf pretty well, tennis and the WNBA. I am very versatile. Hope you enjoy my content.

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