MLB Game Preview: Pittsburgh Pirates at St. Louis Cardinals

Apr 13, 2023

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Game: Pittsburgh Pirates @ St. Louis Cardinals

Time: 7:45 p.m.

Odds: Pirates +221, Cardinals -247

Total: 8.5

The St. Louis Cardinals are attempting to recover from a 3-7 start that saw them fall to last place in the National League Central. The Cardinals begin a seven-game homestand on Thursday when they play the Pittsburgh Pirates after taking two of three games in Colorado.

St. Louis beat the Rockies 7-4 on Wednesday, which has helped to shift the energy in the Cardinals’ clubhouse. St. Louis is now 5-7 after winning the final two games of the series against Colorado. The Pirates enter the series having lost two of three games to the Houston Astros.

The first game of the series against the Pirates will feature Jordan Montgomery (2-0, 2.25 ERA) as the Cardinals starting pitcher. During his most recent start, a 6-0 victory at Milwaukee on Saturday, he gave up three hits over seven innings. He walked two batters and struck out nine. In two starts against the Pirates in his career, Montgomery is 1-0 with a 3.00 ERA.

Jordan Walker, a rookie outfielder for the Cardinals, has contributed to the team’s offensive success and set a record for being the youngest player in major league history to start a career with a 12-game hitting streak. Walker, 20, is hitting.319 with an OPS of .849 right now.

For St. Louis, Nolan Gorman (.313, four home runs, 10 RBIs), Nolan Arenado (.327 average, two home runs, and 13 RBIs), and Paul Goldschmidt (.364, one home run, and seven RBIs) have all had productive starts at the plate.Outfielder Dylan Carlson of the Cardinals missed the previous two games because of a stiff neck. He may not be available for tonight’s game.

Prior to dropping that series with the Astros,  the Pirates won five of their first six games. All six games were played at home. Pittsburgh swept Boston and then took two of three games from the Chicago White Sox.

For the first game of their seven-game road trip, the Pirates will use Vince Velasquez (0-2, 9.82 ERA). In his most recent outing, a Saturday 11-5 loss to the Chicago White Sox, the right-hander only lasted 2.2 innings. He gave up six hits, four walks, and five runs while striking out just one batter.In seven career appearances against the Cardinals, including six starts, Velasquez is 1-3 with a 5.67 ERA.

Bryan Reynolds, who is hitting.347 with five home runs, 14 RBIs, and two stolen bases, leads Pittsburgh’s offense. The Pirates are averaging 4.64 runs per game so far this season. With a .960 OPS, former NL MVP Andrew McCutchen is hitting .323.

The Pirates are 6-3 SU in their last nine games. They are just 5-11 SU in their last 16 against their division rival St. Louis. The Cardinals are just 6-12 SU in their last 18 games and 2-7 SU in their last nine at home.

The Under is 7-1 in the Cardinals last eight games. The total has gone Under in four of the last five Pirates road games.

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