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Pittsburgh Pirates at St. Louis Cardinals Betting Preview

NL Central rivals will square off Wednesday as the Pittsburgh Pirates (24-37) take on the St. Louis Cardinals (37-27). The Cardinals will host this one at Busch Stadium, with the first pitch scheduled for 7:45 pm ET.

On Tuesday, the Cardinals took both games of a doubleheader, 3-1 and 9-1. In the first game, Matthew Liberatore picked up the win after pitching five scoreless innings and striking out five. Paul Goldschmidt hit his 14th home run of the season and finished with three runs batted in.

For the Pirates in Game 1, JT Brubaker took the loss. He went 5.1 innings, allowing three runs (two earned) on seven hits. Yu Chang went two for three, including his first home run.

In Game 2, the big story was Cardinals’ pitcher Miles Mikolas. He was one strike away from a no-hitter but instead went 8.2 innings, allowing one run (unearned) on one hit and struck out six. Goldschmidt hit another two home runs and five runs batted in during this game.

Pittsburgh’s Bryse Wilson took the loss in the second game after allowing seven runs on ten hits in five innings. The lone hit by the Pirates was Cal Mitchell.

The Cardinals are the favorites on Wednesday playing at home. They are -168 to win while the Pirates’ moneyline sits at +142. The runline features Pittsburgh +1.5 (-152), and the over/under for total runs is 8.5.

Pittsburgh Trying To Salvage Finale

After losing the first three games of the series, the Pirates will try to salvage the finale as they take on the Cardinals. They currently sit in third in the NL Central, but they are 11.5 games behind St. Louis.

The Pirates have struggled as of late, losing nine of their last ten games. They have been especially poor on the road this season, with a 11-20 record.

Taking the mound for Pittsburgh in the finale is 22-year-old Roansy Contreras. In seven games, he is 1-1 with a 2.57 ERA, 1.18 WHIP, and has 33 strikeouts in 28 innings.

He took a loss in his last outing after giving up three runs on eight hits in 4.2 innings of work against Atlanta. He did have seven strikeouts in the loss.

Outfielder Bryan Reynolds has been the best hitter for the Pirates thus far. In 219 at bats, he is hitting .251/.327/.434 with a team-leading ten home runs and 26 runs scored. He also has 19 runs batted in and three stolen bases.

Cardinals Try To Finish The Sweep

At 372-7, the Cardinals hold a 2.5-game lead over the Milwaukee Brewers in the division. With a fantastic 21-12 home record, they will look to finish the sweep and extend their divisional lead Wednesday.

Making his first start of the season for the redbirds will be righty Jack Flaherty. To this point, he has been on the shelf with a shoulder injury.

Last season, in 17 games (15 starts), he went 9-2 with a 3.22 ERA, 1.06 WHIP, and had 85 strikeouts in 78.1 innings. In that span, opponents hit just .199 against him.

Offensively, Paul Goldschmidt has been absolutely dominant this season. After his huge day on Tuesday, he is now hitting .349/.431/.642 with 16 home runs, 56 runs batted in, 47 runs, and three stolen bases. He leads the Cardinals in both home runs and runs batted in.

Nolan Arenado and Tommy Edman are also having fantastic seasons. Arenado is hitting .271/.341/.480 with 11 home runs and 41 runs batted in. Edman is hitting .285/.359/.434 with seven home runs, 26 runs batted in, 51 runs scored, and 15 stolen bases.

Take Cardinals To Win And Cover

While the Pirates are trying to salvage the finale, the trends don’t support it. Not only are they on a nine-game losing streak, but they are also winless in their last six against the Cardinals.

For St. Louis, they are 8-1 in their last nine at home, and the total has gone over in nine of 13 games against NL Central opponents.

While Roansy Contreras has shown signs of brilliance, the Cardinals are just too hot for the Pirates to slow down in this one. Take St. Louis not only to finish the sweep but to cover the -1.5 runline (+126) as well.

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