Best, Worst in NL Central Clash
Every game matters at this point. There are less than 25 games remaining in the 2022 regular season, and you can feel in the air that October baseball is approaching. The weekend has finally arrived, and the St. Louis Cardinals will begin a three-game series on the road against the Pittsburgh Pirates.
With the MLB playoff odds as close as ever, the Cardinals hold power as we enter the second week of September. The Redbirds are 81-57 and hold an eight-game lead for first place in the National League Central. For Pittsburgh, all eyes are on 2023 as the Pirates are 50-87 and focusing on the rebuild.
St. Louis has one of the easiest schedules to end the regular season, but the Pirates look to play spoiler and help out the Milwaukee Brewers.
Trust Pitching of Cardinals
The St. Louis Cardinals have one of the most consistent pitching staffs in all of baseball, but they were exploited against the Washington Nationals.
They split the four-game series and miraculously stole a win in walk-off fashion, preventing them from losing the series. St. Louis allowed 23 runs in the series against the worst team in baseball. A lot of MLB picks and parlays were ruined this week.
In an important game in which the Cardinals are favored, Miles Mikolas will take the mound. The 34-year-old right-hander is 11-10 in 2022 with a 3.32 ERA, 1.01 WHIP and 127 strikeouts through 176.1 innings. With an impressive WHIP, he has over 100 more strikeouts than walks.
Mikolas is coming off a gem against the Chicago Cubs. He threw eight scoreless innings, allowing only two hits, where Albert Pujols hit a home run in his final game against Chicago. He has pitched against Pittsburgh twice this season, allowing two earned runs.
St. Louis is great against the spread at 78-60, thanks to its red-hot offense. A major concern is the Cardinals’ 34-33 record away from Busch Stadium, but they look to stay over .500 as they travel to the Steel City.
Milwaukee’s Best Friends
The focus for the Pittsburgh Pirates is to continue to develop their young guys as the season wraps up. They would also love nothing more than to spoil a postseason run against the top team in the NL Central. As they play this series and one more before the season ends, the Pirates have the potential to do just that.
We have some youth on the mound for Pittsburgh, which calls Roansy Contreras to the mound. The 22-year-old righty is 4-4 with a 3.41 ERA, 1.31 WHIP, and 70 strikeouts through 74.0 innings. He has pitched against St. Louis twice in 2022, and through six innings, he has allowed eight hits and five earned runs.
Pittsburgh’s struggling offense with the worst run differential in MLB has some work to do. As almost always being the underdog, they are 66-70 against the spread and 32-36 at home. The Pirates have covered the spread on the MLB lines in two of six games in September.
Cardinals vs Pirates Head-to-Head
Having not played since June 15, a lot has changed with the St. Louis Cardinals and Pittsburgh Pirates. This will be the 11th time these teams have faced off in 2022, and the Cardinals hold an 8-2 advantage in the season series.
When betting online, understand that the Pirates sold at the deadline, and the Cardinals went out and got pitching. The teams have looked completely different since June.
Cardinals vs Pirates Game Information
- Game: Cardinals (81-57) vs Pirates (50-87)
- Location: PNC Park, Pittsburgh
- Day/Time: Friday Sept 9, 6:35 p.m. ET
- Cardinals vs Pirates Live Stream: MLB.tv
Cardinals vs Pirates Betting Lines
|St. Louis Cardinals
M. Mikolas -R
|-1½ -120||-200||8 -115o||4½ -130o
R. Contreras -R
|+1½ Ev||+170||8 -105u||3½ +120o
Cardinals vs Pirates Prediction
After a not-so-great outing in their last series, the St. Louis Cardinals look to bounce back against the Pittsburgh Pirates. Take the Cardinals -1½ (-120) in our sportsbook tonight.
The moneyline does not hold a lot of value, and with Mikolas on the mound and a likely frustrating offense from the struggles against Washington, the Cardinals will get back on track. Even if the odds bounce around prior to the first pitch, take the Cardinals’ spread.