Bet 'Over' as Reeling Cardinals Host NL Central Rival Pirates

Jay Pryce

Monday, April 17, 2017 1:46 PM UTC

Monday, Apr. 17, 2017 1:46 PM UTC

Who would have predicted the Cardinals owning the worst record in the National League through the first two weeks of the season? At 3-9, St. Louis hopes to get back to winning ways as it hosts host the Pirates on Monday 7:05 p.m. ET) at Busch Stadium in the opener of a three-game series.


Pittsburgh Pirates (6-6)

Last Friday, the Pirates’ -19 run differential ranked last in MLB, going 3-6 overall to being the season. A three-game road trip to Chicago to take on the reigning World Series champion Cubs over the weekend appeared a lost cause overall. Pittsburgh dug deep, however, and won each game in the series at +160, +220, and +150 odds. It was the first 3-0 sweep of their NL Central rivals since 2014.

Pitcher Ivan Nova gets his first start ever against the Cardinals on Monday, hoping to carry on the momentum. Since coming over last August in a mid-summer swap with the Yankees, Pittsburgh is 8-4 SU overall in his outings, including a 4-1 record away from PNC Park. Nova and the bullpen allow 3.4 runs per game on the road, winning each of the only two outings as underdogs.

Look for Pittsburgh's offense to show up tonight. The Pirates are 5-2 against right-handed starters, scoring 4.86 runs per game.

LF Gregory Polanco, who has reached base in six straight games, is in danger of missing his third contest in a row due to a groin injury. Polanco is listed as day-to-day.


St. Louis Cardinals (3-9)

The Cardinals own the worst record in the National League at 3-9, plagued by a litany of miscues and mental mistakes. The team’s 0.83 errors per game ranks 23rd in MLB, failing to give the staff much help. St. Louis’ defensive runs saved margin of -13, in fact, ranks dead last in the majors, tied with the Diamondbacks. Manager Mike Matheny’s men are 0-6 when committing an error this season.

It’s been a rude awakening for Monday’s starter Lance Lynn in his first two starts since undergoing the knife for Tommy John surgery in 2015. Roughed up by a pair of World Series favorites in the Cubs and Nationals, the right-hander is 0-1 with a 5.23 ERA through 10.1 frames in 2017.

Lynn went off as the underdog in each, but is plus-money lifetime when home chalk in St. Louis. The Cardinals are 43-20 SU in his starts, winning by .97 runs per game. Backers have pocketed 12.3 percent profit. St. Louis is 7-3 SU vs. the Pirates at Busch Stadium behind Lynn, going off -145 odds on average. The righty has faced the Pirates in 19 games (17 starts), more than any other team in the bigs. He is 5-5 with a 4.74 ERA.


Final Analysis

The Cardinals are in disarray, while the Pirates are riding high following their sweep in the Windy City. Lynn has been hit hard in each of his two outings, and is struggling with his command. Pittsburgh has collected 10 hits or more in five of seven games against right-handed starters, and will likely show Lynn little mercy.

MLB Free Pick: 'Over' 8Best Line Offered: BookMaker

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