Cardinals Prepping for Postseason
The St. Louis Cardinals look to send a couple of legends out the right way when they open a three-game series with the visiting Pittsburgh Pirates on Friday night. St. Louis has dropped three of four but has already clinched the National League Central title, leading the second-place Milwaukee Brewers by seven games.
Pittsburgh has won three straight but is at the bottom of the division standings, one game behind the fourth-place Cincinnati Reds. These teams are very familiar with each other, so to help with your betting online on this game, read our in-depth preview of the contest.
Pirates Stuck in Last Place
The Pittsburgh Pirates have been hot this week, sweeping the fourth-place Cincinnati Reds to put themselves in a position to avoid a last-place finish. Unfortunately, they meet the first-place St. Louis Cardinals for the final six games of the season, with this three-game series in St. Louis followed by a three-game set in Pittsburgh.
Right-hander Johan Oviedo will face his former club when he gets the start for Friday’s contest. Oviedo made 14 appearances with the Cardinals before being traded to the Pirates, where he has gone 2-1 in five starts with a 3.05 ERA. Oviedo is coming off seven shutout innings in his last start against the Chicago Cubs on Saturday, allowing just three hits while striking out seven and walking none.
Second baseman Kevin Newman had an RBI single in the 10th inning of Wednesday’s win over the Reds. Newman is on a 10-game hitting streak and is batting .276 with 18 doubles, two triples, two home runs, 23 RBIs and 31 runs scored in 73 games.
Pujols, Molina Motivating Cardinals
This weekend will be the last home regular-season series for a pair of St. Louis Cardinals legends, as Albert Pujols and Yadier Molina are both planning to retire after this season. The sure-fire Hall of Famers are hoping to go out on top, which is the goal of the Cardinals this postseason.
“Around here, the goal is to win ball games — that’s all we talk about and all we think about,” third baseman Nolan Arenado said about the Cardinals’ expectations for the playoffs. “We have a great team, we have a great chance to win the whole thing and this is a great first step. Now, we have to expect more.”
Arenado has been doing his part, batting .293 with 41 doubles, a triple, 30 home runs, 100 RBIs and 71 runs scored. He’d be a top MVP contender in the National League if it wasn’t for the guy across the diamond – first baseman Paul Goldschmidt.
Goldschmidt is having a season to remember, ranking third in batting average (.318) and fourth in RBIs (114) while tying for eighth in baseball in home runs with 35. He also has 41 doubles and 103 runs scored.
Right-hander Jack Flaherty will make his eighth start of an injury-shortened season on Friday night. Flaherty is 1-1 with a 4.97 ERA, striking out 26 and walking 20 in 29 innings. He went six innings against the San Diego Padres in his last start, allowing three runs on five hits while striking out nine and walking four.
Pirates vs Cardinals Head-To-Head
Not surprisingly, the St. Louis Cardinals have dominated their season series with the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2022, going 10-3 against their division rival heading into Friday’s matchup. St. Louis has won the season series with Pittsburgh in each of the last eight seasons.
St. Louis is 5-2 against Pittsburgh in games played at Busch Stadium this season, compared to a 4-5 mark at the venue in 2021. A glance at the MLB lines for Friday’s series opener show the Cardinals favored to continue that success with a win.
Pirates vs Cardinals Game Information
- Game: Pirates (59-97) vs Cardinals (90-66)
- Location: Busch Stadium, St. Louis
- Day/Time: Friday, Sept. 30, 8:15 p.m. ET
- Pirates vs Cardinals Live stream: MLB.tv
Pirates vs Cardinals Betting Lines
J. Oviedo -R
|St. Louis Cardinals
J. Flaherty -R
The odds in this chart are based on the time of publication. They are subject to change.
Pirates vs Cardinals Prediction
The Pittsburgh Pirates played well this week against the Cincinnati Reds, but the St. Louis Cardinals at home when two of their all-time greats are about to retire? Different story. Look for a solid effort from Flaherty as the Cardinals come away with the victory.
When making your MLB picks, take St. Louis to win at home.