Another week of MLB action concludes Sunday night. Now into May, we’ve had a month to view the 2015 season unfold. Nothing too surprising, other than perhaps the start the Houston Astros have gotten off to. Some people will tell you it was expected, but I didn’t think they’d make the progress they have this young in the season. Dallas Keuchel is a pitcher to look out for, not only betting wise, but in Cy Young voting if he continues to pitch the way he has been. In other news, the Cubs have also made great strides and look poised to be a contender for some time to come. Can they turn that into a World Series is the grand question. After around 100 years of not winning, the ball has to land on red eventually, so to speak, right? Well putting money on red after black has landed 10 times in a row on a roulette wheel can sometimes lead to a shredding bankroll. Even though the Cubs have a lot going for them, they have been the perennial losers of baseball for pretty much ever.
Let’s take a look at the card today, where we look to respond after an unexpected result yesterday. Eovaldi and Miley both pitched the best games of 2015 by a long shot, holding both lineups down offensively and giving the Yankees a 4-2 win. Can’t say I’ve gotten off to the start I wanted handicapping baseball, but historically my best months have been beyond April. We take a look at the Pirates and Cardinals today, where Michael Wacha is the undisputed ace of the Cardinals after Adam Wainwright got injured. He’ll be gone for the year, so the duties of being the number 1 pitcher in the rotation will fall on the back of Wacha.
Wacha is fully capable of doing that. It’s almost been like the passing of the torch from Wainwright to Wacha has been building over the last year. We’ll need to see how Wainwright comes back from injury, because it may happen sooner than we all thought. The Cards take on a Pirates team today that is trying to make the next step in the postseason. Getting to the postseason was an accomplishment in Pittsburgh, but not anymore, they’ll need to win a couple games now to avoid a letdown. The Cardinals have gotten the best of the Pirates in this series, defeating them in two straight. The Pirates will need to win today to avoid the sweep. Let’s get after it and find a winning pick.
Pittsburgh Pirates vs. St. Louis Cardinals
Vance Worley (2-2, 4.50 ERA) vs. Michael Wacha (4-0, 2.42 ERA)
Vance Worley looks to respond for the Pirates today after the Cubs hit him pretty well in his last start. He was playing pretty good baseball up to that point and had a couple of good starts in a row before getting hit for 4 runs against the Cubs. He probably will need to be great today to be able to beat Michael Wacha here today. Like Worley, Wacha is coming off an effort in which he allowed 4 runs, lasting only 5.2 innings. However, he was rock solid up to that game and I expect a good start for him today. That was actually the first game Wacha has allowed more than 1 run in a start. In all of his previous starts he allowed just a single run in each of them, so his ERA is a little skewed towards the 4 he allowed against the Phillies.
I see Wacha coming back from after a bad start for his standards. Regardless of that start, he still has had a rock solid start to the season with a 2.42 ERA and 1.04 WHIP. The Pirates offense has been struggling in this series, so it should lend itself to a strong performance this afternoon. The Pirates and Cardinals often struggle offensively when they meet up. Both games in this series resulted in 2-1 Cardinal wins and the UNDER is 7-3 in their last ten meetings. I think both pitchers get back to form, and we get another low scoring pitching duel in St. Louis.
PICK: UNDER 7.5 RUNS (-110)