Things are really starting to come down to the wire in the National League and there has been no better race than the one between the Cardinals and the Pirates. With both of them a lock for the playoffs now it is just a question of can the Pirates catch them to win the central division. In today's matchup I'm going to back over the total when St. Louis visits Pittsburgh.
MLB odds makers came out with this line on the total at 7.5. I think this is just a little bit too low and look for both of these teams to have some nice production at the plate today. You can get some good odds at over the total at Pinnacle Sports -105. For my over the total MLB pick of the day I think we're looking at a higher scoring game than people anticipate.
St. Louis Cardinals
Lance Lynn takes the mound for the Cardinals and comes in with a 3.16 ERA, 1.36 whip, 159 strikeouts, and a 12-10 record. He is coming off a very good outing at home against Cincinnati in which he allowed zero earned runs off a three hits in six innings. He has been as good a pitcher at home as just about any major league starter but on the road is a different story. His home and away numbers are quite different with a 2.91 ERA in St. Louis that jumps to 3.43 on the road, but more significantly is batters go from hitting .242 against them to .271. As well, last time against Pittsburgh he was knocked around very early allowing three earned runs, seven runs total, off of six hits in just an inning. I don't look for him to have that poor of an outing again, but I also don't look for him to shut down the Pirates in Pittsburgh.
St. Louis ranks 24th in the league in runs scored per game at 4.05, 18th in OPS at .718, and 12th in batting average hitting .255 as a team. All their major offensive statistics go up in St. Louis but they are still a formidable hitting team on the road. Today they should be looking for a little bit of revenge against the starting pitcher for Pittsburgh J.A. Happ who shut them down in early September.
J. A. Happ gets the start for Pittsburgh and comes in with a 3.88 ERA, 1.32 whip, 140 strikeouts, and a 10-8 record. He has been a nice pickup for the Pirates and has pitched well most of the season. At home his ERA is solid at 3.01, but surprisingly batters are hitting almost .270 against him there. In his last 10 starts he has also pitched very well including, as mentioned, a stellar performance in St. Louis in which he allowed zero earned runs off a three hits and seven innings. I just don't see him doing that against the Cardinals again and look for St. Louis to get more than a few runs today off of him.
Pittsburgh ranks 10th in the major leagues in runs scored per game at 4.37, 16th in OPS at .723, and eighth in batting average hitting .262 as a team. They are one of the more even keel hitting teams in the league as her statistics really don't change much whether they are in Pittsburgh or on the road. They should be pretty comfortable today against Lynn whom they've already faced three times this season. Expect them to have a lot of quality at-bats today.
As the playoff race heats up I think so will today's bats in Pittsburgh. For one of your MLB picks I suggest backing the over when these two matchup today in what should be one of the best games of the day. Do not expect either of these pitchers to perform very well today, but do expect these offenses to produce some runs.
Free MLB Pick: Bet the Over at BetOnline