Lay The Runs for Cardinals as Capper Prefer's Wacha Slants vs. Pirates

Joe Gavazzi

Tuesday, April 5, 2016 6:48 PM GMT

The Cardinals and The Pirates square off for the 2nd of a 3-game set on Tuesday evening at PNC Park. The Pirates won the first game of the series, but this time, take Cardinals as your MLB pick.

St. Louis Cardinals Preview
Today, the pitching matchup turns in favor of St. Louis, as does the situation. St. Louis has been the standard bearer in National League play for a number of years. In the last 3 seasons alone, they have won 90 or more games each campaign.

Last season, they topped the charts with a 100-62 record. Yet, they barely held off the 2nd place Pirates, who trailed them by only 2 games at the end of the season. After a dry spell of 20 years, Pittsburgh now has recorded 3 winning (playoff) seasons and has had just 2 less victories than the Cards in each of the previous 2 years.

 

Pittsburgh Pirates Overview
The Pirates recently inked outfielder, Polanco, to a 5-year pact worth 35 million, significantly more than his $535,000 this season! Along with McCutcheon and Marte, this trio is widely considered to be the best in MLB. But, there is a bit of a power outage in the Burgh, as home towner, Walker, and homerun hitter, Alvarez, are gone from the roster. Look for more “small ball” from the Pirates who, along with their outstanding bullpen and strong top of the rotation, will scratch out wins once again this season.

But, a major question mark for the Bucs is today’s newly acquired starter, Niese (NY Mets), who has faded in recent seasons. Niese was 9-10 last year with a 4.13 ERA. He also struggled in the spring, where in 4 starts, he was 0-2 with an 8.40 ERA. Nor has he had success recently vs. this opponent against whom, in his most recent 3 starts, he is 0-2 with a 5.30 ERA.  

 

Final Analysis
Far prefer the slants of Wacha for St. Louis. Following an injury plagued campaign in 2014, Wacha rebounded smartly by making 30 starts last year with a 17-7 record, a 3.38 ERA and an All Star selection. Though, Wacha gave up 6 runs in just 4 IP of an 8-2 loss on this mound late last September, his prior history to that was very solid. In 6 previous starts, Wacha was 4-0 with a 1.89 ERA.  

We will back Wacha and St. Louis, knowing that the Cards are the most resilient team in MLB with a record of 133-81 following a defeat the last 3 seasons. I invite you to put the MLB odds in your favor and join me in your MLB pick on St. Louis tonight.

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Free MLB Pick: St. Louis Cardinals -1.5 (+161)
Best Line Offered: at Heritage