MLB Picks: Cardinals vs. Pirates NLDS Game 4

Jeff Grant

Monday, October 7, 2013 11:30 AM GMT

The St. Louis Cardinals have been successful in avoiding elimination in recent years, as they prepare to take on the Pittsburgh Pirates Monday afternoon. Which team are we backing with our MLB picks in tonight's Game 4?

Let’s take a closer look at the MLB betting odds for Game 4 of this National League Division Series at PNC Park, with the first pitch scheduled for 3:07 p.m. ET on TBS.

Review the Series Price for the Pirates vs. Cardinals ALDS matchup.

On the ropes

St. Louis will try to extend this series to a decisive fifth, as it suffered a 5-3 setback to Pittsburgh as +151 road underdogs Sunday, while going OVER the total for a third consecutive contest. 

The Cardinals have gone 6-1 in elimination games the previous two seasons, while they’ve won four of their last five games as road favorites of -110 to -150. 

There’s no place like home 

Pittsburgh has definitely benefited from the energy of its home crowd since the regular season ended, as it has won both of its postseason games in the Steel City, including a win over the Cincinnati Reds in the NL Wild Card game. 

Pirates third baseman Pedro Alvarez is the key player to handicap offensively in this affair, as no player for the franchise has driven in more runs against the Cardinals in the last two seasons.

Wacha 

Cardinals starting pitcher Michael Wacha (4-1, 2.78 ERA) is coming off a brilliant performance in his last effort, as he allowed just a single hit over 8.2 innings of work in a 2-0 home victory over the Washington Nationals on Sept. 24. 

The right-hander is 2-0 with a 4.34 ERA in five road appearances (three starts), with opposing hitters batting .316 against him. 

In two lifetime outings versus the Pirates, Wacha has tossed nine shutout innings and allowed just two hits.

Morton

Pirates starting pitcher Charlie Morton (7-4, 3.26 ERA) led the club to back-to-back road wins over the Reds and Chicago Cubs to end the regular season, but he didn’t factor into the decision in those outings.

The right-hander is 2-2 with a 2.85 ERA in nine home games, issuing 14 walks and striking out 41 batters in 53.2 combined frames. 

In 14 career games versus the Cardinals, Morton has compiled a 2-9 record and 6.52 ERA.

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Prediction 

I’m going to recommend that readers back the Cardinals in the first five innings with their MLB Picks, as they have the ability to jump on Morton early, which will help ease the pressure on Wacha.

MLB Pick:  St. Louis Cardinals -120 First Five Innings