St. Louis Cardinals (25-33) at Pittsburgh Pirates (29-27)
Game Info: Saturday, June 3, 2023 at 4:05 p.m. EST (PNC Park)
Betting Odds: Cardinals (-160) / Over/Under (9)
Pick: Pirates (+130)
Saturday brings us the second game of the series in an NL Central battle between the St. Louis Cardinals and Pittsburgh Pirates in PNC Park.
St. Louis has been one of the most disappointing teams to begin the year in the MLB. Coming into this one, they have a 25-33 record and are in last place in the division. It is not as though they are showing any signs of improving too, as they are 4-6 in their last ten games. In game one of the series on Friday night, they went up 5-0 in the third inning and held that score all the way into the 6th inning. Despite their massive lead though, they let up seven runs in the 6th and 7th inning and eventually went on to lose by a score of 7-5. If any game were to represent how their season has gone so far, this game perfectly depicted that. In what once was a dominant bullpen for the past few years, the Cardinals relievers have let them time and time again in the first 58 games. If they are to show any sign of life in the last 100 or so games that still need to be played, they will need their bullpen arms to tighten it up quickly.
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Pittsburgh has cooled down a bit after beginning the season on a torrid run. Still though, they come into Saturday with a 29-27 record, good for second in the NL Central (0.5 game back of the Milwaukee Brewers). In their last three games however, they are 3-0, beating the Giants in their home ballpark for two of them, and taking game one of the series against the Cardinals yesterday. Roansy Contreras let up 5 earned runs in 4.0 innings pitched last night, but the Pirates bullpen was able to shut it down in the last 5.0 innings, letting up 0 runs for the rest of the game. Apart from the bullpen showing massive improvements, Ke'Bryan Hayes had one of his best games of the year so far, going 3-4 with a stellar 4 RBIs to go with it. With the Pirates looking to make some noise this year in a jam-packed NL Central, he will have a big say in if they are able to do so come September. Can he register another masterful performance on back-to-back nights?
Betting trends to consider in this matchup:
- Pittsburgh is 8-4 in division games
- The Pirates are 19-11 in league games
- St. Louis is 16-22 in league games
With the Cardinals seemingly looking like they have no hope to begin the year off, the Pirates will love their chances at home to take the series from them while they are playing poorly. Looking at the pitching matchups, I do not see a glaring advantage for the Cardinals as well, so this line is a bit concerning to me if you are going to lay the hefty line on the Red Birds. Raise The Jolly Roger!
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