St. Louis looks to have incredible value coming into the August 10th Cardinals at Pirates matchup. STL is listed at just -135 up against the last place team in the Central and a Pittsburgh squad that has dropped five straight. Is that line a red flag trap however?
Pittsburgh has lost 7 of their last 8 games, but to Philadelphia, Milwaukee, and Cincinnati who are all fighting for playoff spots. The Cardinals took 2 of 3 from the Royals over the weekend, but their playoff hopes are very faint sitting 8.5 back in the wild card race.
St. Louis Has Dominated This Series
The Cardinals are just 23-31 on the road this season, but they have won 18 of their last 21 at PNC Park. All three of those losses over that span came at the end of June in St. Louis though, so does that give the Pirates value at +115? Overall St. Louis is 37-16 in their last 53 contests with the Pirates
St. Louis faces Steven Brault (0-0, 2.25 ERA), and are just 1-5 over their last 6 games. Brault is making just his second start of the season though after spending time on the IL with a lat strain. Tyler O’Neill will try to exploit that and stay hot, as the Cardinals outfielder is hitting .438 over the past week. Paul Goldschmidt and Nolan Arenado have also combined for 3 HRs in 19 total AB vs. Brault.
J.A. Happ (5-6, 6.62) makes his second start in a St. Louis uniform in the August 10th Cardinals at Pirates contest. The left-hander threw 5.0 innings and allowed just 2 ER last Wednesday but the St. Louis bullpen gave up 5 runs in a 7-4 loss to the Braves.
Can Pirates Steal One?
Pittsburgh looked pretty good in taking 3 of 4 at Busch Stadium in the last head to head series, but that was at the end of June. The Pirates were once again sellers at the trade deadline, and are just 5-15 over their last 20.
The good news is that St. Louis doesn’t seem to be playing with the sense of urgency you’d expect for a team facing a last ditch effort to make the postseason. The bad news (for Pittsburgh backers) is that the Pirates have dropped five in a row, and were just outscored 31-9 in a 4-game sweep at the hands of the Reds.
Brault is making just his second start of the season, and the Pirates are very unfamiliar with Happ going just 1 for 15 as a team vs. the Cardinals starter. There’s a lot of unknowns in this one, but shouldn’t St. Louis still be priced higher than -135?
August 10th Cardinals at Pirates Pick
A play on Pittsburgh would simply be a contrarian call as St. Louis seems like they should be priced higher than -135. The Pirates have dropped five in a row, and have no pitching right now as evidenced in the Cincinnati series. St. Louis has been mediocre as of late, but still have the bats to exploit Brault in just his second start of the year. Take the first 5 for a better price and to avoid the STL bullpen.
Cardinals 4 – Pirates 3
Free Pick: Cardinals First 5 Innings -130