Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#3909 Pittsburgh Pirates vs.
#3910 St. Louis Cardinals
Friday, September 30, 2022 at 8:15pm EDT
Written by Mason Folz

This Friday, the (59-97) Pittsburgh Pirates and the (90-66) St. Louis Cardinals will play game one of this six-game series. The first pitch will be thrown out at 8:10 PM EST inside Busch Stadium. This will be the last series of the regular season for both of these teams. The last time they matched up, the Cardinals ended up taking two of three games.

The Pittsburgh Pirates are coming into this one after sweeping the Cincinnati Reds. The Pirates looked great at the dish, as they scored 20 combined runs in three games. They will need to keep their bats rolling if they want to challenge the Cardinals to finish the season.

The St. Louis Cardinals are entering this one after splitting their short two-game series with the Milwaukee Brewers. The Cardinals struggled at the plate in game two, as they will need to wake up at the dish if they want to pick up some momentum before the postseason begins.

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Can the Pirates Finish Strong?

The Pittsburgh Pirates will not be playing in the postseason in 2022. They are currently 2-8 in their last 10 games, and they are 27.0 games back from the Philadelphia Phillies for the third and final NL Wild Card spot. Pittsburgh is also in last place in the NL Central, as they trail the first-place Cardinals by 31.0 games.

At the plate, the Pirates are scoring 3.72 runs per game and they are hitting .221 as a team. This is the 27th most runs scored per game and the second lowest overall team batting average. They have been bad on the road this season and they have also struggled to make consistent contact with the ball. This has made it much more difficult to score. Pittsburgh has realized that they have a decent amount of power inside of their lineup. They are hitting 1.02 home runs per game, which is the 17th most in the league. Watch for Bryan Reynolds at the dish, as he leads the team with 26 home runs hit this season. I also expect the Pirates to stay extremely aggressive once they reach base safely. They have already stolen 85 bases this season, which is the 15th most in the league.

According to MLB.com, the Pirates will be starting Johan Oviedo on the mound, as he is 4-2 with a 3.13 ERA and a 1.28 WHIP. In his last start, he pitched for 7.0 innings and he didn't allow an earned run to the Cubs. He has also been great on the road this season, as he is 2-1 with a 3.42 ERA. The Pirates bullpen has had issues this season, though. They are currently allowing the most runs in the MLB. As a team, the Pirates are surrendering 5.16 runs per game, which is the third most in the league.

The Cardinals can Hit!

The St. Louis Cardinals are sitting at the top of the NL Central, as they have a 7-game lead over the second-place Milwaukee Brewers. They are also 5-5 in their last 10, as they could afford to drop a few with the lead that they had. They are now preparing for the postseason, as St. Louis currently sits in the third seed of the NL playoffs.

The Cardinals are scoring 4.81 runs per game and they are hitting .252 as a team. This is the fifth most runs scored per game and the ninth-highest overall team batting average. They have shown that they can consistently reach base safely and they've been very clutch with men in scoring position. St. Louis has also realized that they have a ton of power inside of their lineup. They are hitting 1.27 bombs per game, which is the seventh most in the MLB. I would watch for Paul Goldschmidt at the plate, as he leads the team with the highest batting average and the most home runs. I would also expect the Cardinals to stay aggressive once they have reached base safely. They have already taken 94 bases this season, which is the ninth most in the league.

According to MLB.com, the Cardinals will be starting Jack Flaherty on the mound, as he is 1-1 this season with a 4.97 ERA and a 1.76 WHIP. In his last start, he got the win, but he only pitched for 6.0 innings and gave up three earned runs. He has had troubles at home, though. He is currently 0-1 with a 4.80 ERA inside Busch Stadium. The St. Louis bullpen is also giving up 3.69 runs per game, which is the 11th lowest bullpen ERA in the MLB. As a team, the Cards are allowing 3.98 runs per game, which is the ninth least.

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Full-Game Side Bet

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The Pirates are coming into this series after sweeping the Cincinnati Reds. They have nothing to play for and no pressure, as they are playing free right now. They also have one of their better starting pitchers on the mound, as I see the Pirates keeping this game closer than people might think. St. Louis is starting Jack Flaherty on the mound, as I don't trust him at all. He got the win in his last start, but the Padres still created a ton of contact off of him and he gave up three earned runs. The Pirates are seeing the ball great right now and I see them staying hot at the plate in this one. St. Louis started to hit in their game on Thursday, but they struggled in multiple games before that one. They will stay cold at the plate and the Pirates will be able to keep this game close. Flaherty is going to leave the ball over the middle of the plate and the Pirates are going to cause some anarchy towards the end of the regular season. They are going to be able to score with the Cardinals, as this game will stay within the spread (+1.5).

Pick the Pittsburgh Pirates and take the run line spread (+1.5).

Prediction: Pittsburgh Pirates +1.5

Full-Game Total Pick

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I will be hammering the over (7) runs in this matchup between the Cardinals and the Pirates. Pittsburgh is coming into this series after sweeping the Reds, as they are seeing the ball great right now. I also see them having a favorable matchup against Flaherty, as he has struggled this season. He currently has a 4.97 ERA and a 1.76 WHIP, as he has been giving up a ton of contact in recent starts. He is also 0-1 inside Busch Stadium this season, as I see the Pirates doing their part in pushing this total over the number. They showed they could score in their last series, and I see that trend continuing in this one. The Cardinals will also eventually cash in at the plate, as they are scoring the fifth most runs per game and they have the ninth-highest team batting average. They will consistently reach base and also do their part in pushing this total over the number. The Pirates bullpen is also allowing the most runs per game, as I see the Cardinals scoring consistently throughout this game.

Take the over (7) runs and expect both teams to show up at the dish in this one.

Prediction: Over 7
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Written By Mason Folz , "Mason Folz"

Mason graduated from the University of Colorado, Boulder and he has been watching SportsCenter since before he could walk. He has been crunching numbers since he could learn to count and nothing makes Mason happier in this world than talking sports, unless he is on the golf course! We are very happy to have added Mason to our team at StatSalt and you will be glad as well. Let's win some money!