The Cardinals and Pirates heated division battle goes head-to-head tonight as the two clubs open a three games set in St. Louis. First pitch in this evening’s series opener between St. Louis and Pittsburgh is scheduled for 8:15pm ET at Busch Stadium. MLB Odds have the Cardinals, who will start Adam Wainwright, listed as a -195 moneyline favorite; the Under 9 runs is also favored at -120 odds. The Pirates are drawing +175 odds to pull off the upset.
Pittsburgh opened a four game set on Monday against in-state rival Philadelphia, and it opened the extended series with back-to-back losses. The Pirates rebounded on Wednesday and Thursday, though, taking out the Phillies 11-7 and 5-4 to earn a 2-2 series tie and improve to 40-35 overall.
Pittsburgh also preserved its narrow lead over the Cardinals with those two wins as the two squads trail National League Central leader Cincinnati by a game and 1.5 games respectively. The Pirates will look to create a little more separation tonight and, perhaps, pull into a first place tie with the Reds with veteran Kevin Correia toeing the rubber.
Correia, who is 3-6 with a 4.03 ERA in 14 starts this season, is coming off a quality appearance against the Tigers. The 31 year old California native gave up six hits and two earned runs over six innings, but Pittsburgh still lost the game 2-3. Correia is 2-3 with a 3.86 ERA in 13 career appearances against the Cardinals (six starts).
St. Louis dropped its last game, a series finale at Miami 5-3, but it had won five straight prior to Wednesday’s setback to bring its record to 40-36 overall. The Cardinals will attempt to keep their momentum rolling and draw ever closer to regaining the NL Central lead by sending Adam Wainwright to the hill.
Wainwright’s season number are not overly impressive as he brings a 6-7 record, 4.32 ERA, and 1.29 WHIP into this evening’s start; however, the six year veteran appears to be returning to his pre-Tommy John surgery form of late. Wainwright has allowed just 16 hits and five earned runs in his last three starts and he worked seven inning in each of those outings. For his career Wainwright is 8-3 in 18 appearances (14 starts) against the Pirates, but his ERA opposite Pittsburgh is an uncharacteristic 4.79.
MLB Odds Betting Trend: The Cardinals are 4-6 in Wainwright’s last 10 starts as a home favorite with a total between 8.5 and 9 runs (Under 8-2 in those same 10 games).
MLB Picks 2012 Pittsburgh Pirates vs St. Louis Cardinals: Provided by Bovada.lv
Pittsburgh Pirtates +1.5 (-130), Over 9 (+100), +175 (Moneyline)
St. Louis Cardinals -1.5 (+110), Under 9 (-120), -195 (Moneyline)