Wednesday MLB Betting Preview: Lock Pirates To Win Against Cardinals At Home

Ian Cameron

Wednesday, April 6, 2016 4:25 PM GMT

Wednesday, Apr. 6, 2016 4:25 PM GMT

Sports handicapper Ian Cameron gives his MLB betting picks on the series finale between a pair of NL Central rivals as the Cardinals and the Pirates do battle tonight at PNC Park.

Earlier this week in an MLB series preview video I took part in for SBR, I stated that I like this Pittsburgh Pirates team in 2016 as a team that had the potential to challenge the Chicago Cubs for the NL Central crown and so far, they are off to a good start and will be looking for a 3 game series sweep of the St. Louis Cardinals tonight.

The Pirates lineup appears to be improved with the acquisitions of David Freese and John Jaso who has been solid in the leadoff spot through two games. The starting rotation anchored by Gerrit Cole and Francisco Liriano who had a strong outing for the Pirates on Opening Day and the bullpen and the solid Pirates bullpen has yielded just a single run in 9 innings of work over their first two games of the season.

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Tonight's pitching matchup features Mike Leake for the Cardinals against Juan Nicasio for the Pirates. Leake had a solid spring training with his new St. Louis team but after being traded from Cincinnati to San Francisco midway through last season, he struggled down the stretch winning just 2 of his last 9 starts with the Giants. 

His numbers against the Pirates are decent with a 3.01 ERA but the addition of Freese to this Pirates lineup could be a sore spot for Leake in tonight's game as Freese has very strong numbers against him: 8-for-16 with a home run and 4 RBI's in his career against Leake.

On the flip side, Juan Nicasio was exceptional in spring training for the Pirates as he did not surrender a single run in 15 innings of work during the spring and had a terrific 24-5 strikeout-to-walk ratio with opposing batters hitting just .189 against Nicasio in 4 spring training starts.

He still has much to prove in the regular season to become an MLB pick and a viable starting pitcher in the Majors but there is no denying the impressive peripheral stats on display from him in the spring and he should benefit from pitching in a more pitcher friendly ballpark like PNC Park as opposed to the early days of his career with the Colorado Rockies when he was tossing in an extreme hitters park in Coors Field.

 

Betting Recommendation
There is a belief among certain bettors that it is difficult to sweep a team in a series especially in a series between division rivals but I think Pittsburgh owns the edge here in the series finale and based on the MLB odds, I'll recommend a play on the Pirates at close to even money to notch a 3rd straight victory over the Cardinals on Wednesday night.

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Free MLB Pick: Pittsburgh Pirates -103
Best Line Offered: at BetOnline

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