St. Louis Cardinals at Pittsburgh Pirates (-134,
The St. Louis Cardinals are strengthening their hold on the top
spot in the National League wild-card race, but it’s the NL
Central title that they covet. The Cardinals have won nine of
their last 12 and look to continue their surge toward
division-leading Milwaukee when they resume their three-game
series against the host Pittsburgh Pirates on Tuesday. The
Cardinals are 1 1/2 games behind the Brewers in the division
but own a three-game lead over San Francisco atop the wild-card
standings, while the Pirates trail the Giants by 1 1/2 contests
for the final playoff spot.
The Cardinals notched their 23rd comeback victory of the season
in Monday’s series opener, scoring three runs in the seventh
inning and holding on for a 3-2 triumph. St. Louis does have
some concerns at the back end of the bullpen, as closer Trevor
Rosenthal gave up a ninth-inning home run by Andrew McCutchen
before recording his 39th save – tied with Milwaukee’s
Francisco Rodriguez for the NL lead. St. Louis leads the season
TV: 7:05 p.m. ET, FSN Midwest (St. Louis), ROOT
LINE HISTORY: The LV Superbook opened the
Pirates as -134 home faves with a total of 7.5.
INJURY REPORT: Cardinals – RF Shane Robinson
(Doubtful, shoulder), 2B Mark Ellis (15-day DL, oblique).
COVERS POWER RANKINGS: Cardinals (-178),
WHAT CAPPERS SAY: “Everything would seem to be
in place for the visitors to steal another victory tonight
after taking yesterday’s opener 3-2. The Cardinals will send
Lance Lynn (14-8, 2.78 ERA) to the hill. Lynn has quietly been
dominating of late, he’s 6-2 with a very respectable 1.73 ERA
over his last nine starts, which includes having won three
straight, most recently holding the Reds to just four scattered
hits over seven scoreless frames in his team’s 7-3 victory on
Wednesday. The Pirates offense has been living off the long
ball of late, which doesn’t bode well for Pittsburgh today as
Lynn has given up just three dingers in 128 2/3’s innings
spanning his last 21 starts. Pittsburgh counters with Gerrit
Cole (7-4, 3.69 ERA) who went seven scoreless in his team’s 3-2
win over the Braves on Wednesday. While Cole has had success
against the Cardinals this year, I’ll still give the nod to
Lynn in this matchup.” Covers
Expert AAA Sports.
PITCHING MATCHUP: Cardinals RH Lance Lynn
(14-8, 2.78 ERA) vs. Pirates RH Gerrit Cole (7-4, 3.69)
Lynn has been one of the majors’ best pitchers since the
All-Star break, going 4-2 with a 1.84 ERA in seven starts. He
has won three straight outings and was dominant last time out,
holding Cincinnati to four hits over seven scoreless innings.
The 27-year-old is 5-3 with a 4.88 ERA in 13 career games (11
starts) against Pittsburgh.
Cole was solid in his return from the disabled list Wednesday,
holding Atlanta to two runs and five hits over seven innings,
but he didn’t get a decision. It was the 23-year-old’s first
major-league start since July 4. Cole is 1-1 with a 1.93 ERA in
two outings against St. Louis, including a victory on April 4
in which he gave up two runs over seven frames.
* Cardinals are 5-1 in the last six meetings.
* Under is 4-0 in umpire Sean Barber’s last four games behind
* Cardinals are 4-0 in Lynn’s last four starts.
* Over is 6-2 in Pirates’ last eight vs. National League
COVERS CONSENSUS: 51 percent of wagers on
Covers Consensus are behind the visiting Cardinals.