MLB Picks and Parlays: Pittsburgh Looks to Sweep St Louis on Sunday Night Baseball
by Matt Cash @MattCashCapper
The Pittsburgh Pirates are hanging around on the fringes of contention. A sweep of the St. Louis Cardinals on Sunday would bring them within four games of .500 and keep them within at minimum, four games of the Brewers for first in the NL Central.
The division seems wide open and Pittsburgh has shown their resilience after a number of injuries and early season struggles. Will all their recent playoff experience, they are just the kind of team to go on a summer run.
A win here would give them a 5-2 record on this road trip after they split a four-game series with Milwaukee earlier in the week.
The Pirates are scoring at a 5.05 RPG clip in June. That is leaps better than the 3.92 they averaged through the first two months of the season.
Andrew McCutchen has returned to MVP form hitting .380 with six home runs and 20 RBIs in June. There are five regulars hitting above .280 for the month.
St Louis is now at a low point in their season as it risks slipping away from them. They were up to within two games below .500 a couple of time in June, but with a 3-8 record in their last 11 they are now at 33-40 and closer to last in the division than first. They are 8-15 in June.
The hitting is still bringing in a respectable 4.59 RPG in June. It’s the usually reliable pitching that’s really fallen, with a 4.85 ERA for the month which is 11th in the league.
Dexter Fowler had been pacing the offense this month with a .303 average, six home runs and 16 RBI ever since he was dropped down to second in the batting order.
Chad Kuhl (2-6, 5.46 ERA) gets the start for Pittsburgh. He’s a five-inning starter who has been much better of late, lowering his ERA from 6.29 in his last four starts. He’s allowed eight runs in 20 innings of work. He won last time, allowing two runs in five innings of a 7-3 win over the Brewers. It broke a streak of four straight Pirates losses with him as the starter.
Mike Leake (5-6, 3.03 ERA) was one of the hottest pitchers in the Majors through May with a 1.91 ERA after nine starts. Since then he’s allowed 18 runs in 30.2 innings for a 5.36 ERA. But last time out he allowed one run in six innings of an 8-1 win over the Phillies. It broke a four-game losing streak with him on the mound. St Louis has scored 14 runs in his last two starts after scoring six in the previous three.
- Pittsburgh is 5-1 ATS in its last 6 games
- Pittsburgh is 4-2 SU in its last 6 games
- Pittsburgh is 5-1 ATS in its last 6 games on the road
- St. Louis is 1-6 ATS in its last 7 games
- St. Louis is 3-8 SU in its last 11 games
- The total has gone OVER in 7 of St. Louis’s last 10 games
Cash It In: St Louis are -143 favorites, Pittsburgh +123 underdogs. Leake and a home date are the main reason why, but Leake hasn’t been very good for a month and the Cardinals are just 18-20 at home. That gives Pittsburgh a fighting chance for the huge sweep. Pirates 5-4.