MLB Pick: St. Louis Cardinals -116 over Pittsburgh Pirates

LT Profits Sports Group

Wednesday, April 17, 2013 4:00 AM UTC

Wednesday, Apr. 17, 2013 4:00 AM UTC

Former first round draft choice Shelby Miller has been brilliant during his brief stint with the Cardinals while A.J Burnett is 1-8 in his last 12 starts for Pittsburgh, so take St. Louis.

A promising young pitcher that looks to have a great future will be on display on Wednesday night when 22-year-old Shelby Miller and his St. Louis Cardinals (8-5, 4-3 away) pay a visit to the struggling A.J. Burnett and the Pittsburgh Pirates (6-7, 4-3 home) in the final game of an abbreviated two-game series from PNC Park in Pittsburgh, PA at 7:05 ET.

The posted money line at Pinnacle Sports has St. Louis as a road favorite for this contest at current odds of -116.

The Cardinals slugged their way to a 10-6 triumph here on Monday night before Tuesday’s game was rained out with no makeup date announced yet, making tonight the finale of a shortened series. That slugfest was nothing new for the Cardinals this season, as they are third in the Major Leagues in runs scored with a whopping 6.08 per game while ranking fifth in the National League with a ,261 team batting average.

The Pirates meanwhile are second to last in the National League with a .214 batting average ahead of only the lowly Miami Marlins (.212), and Pittsburgh is averaging a more modest 3.54 runs per game. The Bucs could struggle to reach that average vs. Miller this evening.

Miller was the Cardinals’ first-round draft pick in 2009, and after a fairly quick ascent up the St Louis system he has looked like the real deal for the big club since getting called up last September. Miller made six appearances in September including one start, and went 1-0 with a 1.32 ERA and 0.95 WHIP with 16 strikeouts vs. just four walks in 13.2 innings, and that success has carried forward into this season.

Miller is 2-0 in two starts this year with a 1.46 ERA and 073 WHIP over 12.1 innings with 12 strikeouts and four walks, and he was downright masterful vs. the Milwaukee Brewers on Friday while allowing one measly hit over seven scoreless innings with eight strikeouts and not a single walk, as he threw 87 of his 113 pitches for strikes! Miller averages 94 MPH on his fastball with great movement, and he should be doubly tough vs. a Pittsburgh lineup that has never faced him.

The Pirates counter with Burnett, who received credit for his first Quality Start in three outings last time out but just met the minimum requirement to do so, allowing three earned runs in six innings. Truthfully, Burnett has not looked that sharp in 2013 while putting too many men on base, as evidenced by his high 1.41 WHIP.

That has continued a disturbing pattern that actually began last August after Burnett had a great start to 2012, as he is now 1-8 in his last 12 starts overall. Furthermore, Burnett did not pitch well in three starts vs. the Cardinals last season, posting an 8.80 ERA and1.70 WHIP over 15.1 innings against them while permitting St. Louis hitters to bat .344! The fact that he is facing a Cardinals’ offense that is hot again certainly does not help his cause.

Look for the young Miller and the hot Cardinal bats to prevail over the ice-cold Burnett and the Pirates on Wednesday.


MLB Pick: Cardinals -116

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