The MLB has fifteen games up on the board for Tuesday night. One of those matchups will be a game between the Pittsburgh Pirates and the St. Louis Cardinals. These two teams are battling it out in a three game series right now. This game is expected to throw the first pitch at around 8:15 PM Eastern time on July 16.
The Pirates have put up a record of 44-49 to this point in the season, which has them in fourth place of the NL Central. Pittsburgh is coming in on a four-game losing streak, which they will look to end with a road victory. The Pirates have been hovering around .500 this season but will look to try and break out of it with a winning streak.
St. Louis has earned a record of 47-45, which has them in second place of the NL Central. The Cardinals are only two games out of first place behind the Chicago Cubs. St. Louis has done a good job recently, winning three straight games. The Cardinals are looking to build off of these wins to try and take over the top spot of the division.
The NL Central is still up for grabs for all five teams in the division. The Pirates may have been struggling recently, but if they can turn things around and get a winning streak going, they could jump up the standings to try and take the top spot over. St. Louis has been doing well as of late and they could close in on the Cubs with another home win against the Pirates.
The first two-game series of the season were on April 1 and 3. The first game was a close one until the end. Paul DeJong scored in the top of the eleventh to pull off a 6-5 win. The second game was just as close as the Cardinals scored on a single and a wild pitch in the top of the tenth to help pull away with a 5-4 win on the road to sweep the series.
The second series of the season shifted back to St. Louis on May 9-12. The Cardinals rode five runs in the fourth and sixth inning to a 17-5 win in the first matchup. Starling Marte drove in the game-winning run in the second game in the top of the eighth as the Pirates won 2-1. Gregory Polanco and Josh Bell both had RBI’s in the top of the fourth of the third game to help Pittsburgh win 2-1 again. Josh Bell tied up the fourth game in the top of the seventh with a three-run homer. Adam Frazier drove in two more runs as the Pirates won the final matchup 10-6.
The first game of this series was dominated by the Cardinals early. Tyler O’Neill had an RBI in the bottom of the first. O’Neill had two, two-run homers in the bottom of the fifth and seventh as St. Louis was able to pickup a 7-0 win at home. Miles Mikolas pitched all nine innings, allowing only eight hits to earn his sixth win on the season.
The Cardinals have been able to put up a record of 4-3 against the Pirates so far this season. Pittsburgh was able to pick up three on the road in the second series of the season, but two of them were one-run games that came down to the wire. After being dominated on Monday night, I believe that the Pirates will look to come out much stronger against St. Louis.
Josh Bell has been putting up great numbers for the Pirates so far this season. Bell has 104 hits, 27 home runs, 84 RBI’s and an OPS of 1.009. Starling Marte has 95 hits, 15 home runs and 51 RBI’s this season. Adam Frazier had put up 90 hits so far this season. Bryan Reynolds has 78 hits with an OPS of .932 this season. Colin Moran has put up 10 home runs this season.
St. Louis has had quite a few solid hitters this season. Paul Goldschmidt has 86 hits, 17 home runs and 39 RBI’s. Paul DeJong has earned 86 hits, 13 home runs and 37 RBI’s. Kolten Wong has 72 hits with 35 RBI’s this season. Both Dexter Fowler and Matt Carpenter have 10 home runs. The Cardinals are without Marcell Ozuna, who has 76 hits, 20 home runs and 62 RBI’s this season.
Pittsburgh has had some solid hitters this season, but so have the Cardinals. St. Louis could be without their best hitter in Ozuna until the end of July though. The Pirates will look for their offense to outduel the Cardinals to try and give them the necessary edge to pull off the road upset on Tuesday night.
Dario Agrazal will start on the mound for the Pirates on Tuesday night. Agrazal has a record of 2-0 through three starts this season. He has earned an ERA of 2.81 and a WHIP of 1.313 so far. In his last performance, Agrazal played the Milwaukee Brewers. He allowed only five hits and two runs through six innings pitched.
St. Louis will start Jack Flaherty as the pitcher against Pittsburgh. Flaherty has an ERA of 4.64 and a WHIP of 1.227 through his games this season. He has a record of 4-6 through 18 starts to this point in the season. Flaherty’s last game came against the San Francisco Giants, where he allowed two hits and one run in a loss.
Flaherty has had a solid season so far, but in Agrazal’s short stint in the major league, he has done really well. Agrazal will look to keep it going with another win against the Cardinals. Flaherty is coming off a tough loss as he only allowed one run, but got credited with the loss on the mound. He will look to bounce back by helping St. Louis earn a win this time around.
The Cardinals hold a one-game edge on the season series against Pittsburgh, but I believe that the Pirates could tie it up if Agrazal puts up another strong performance on the mound. Pittsburgh could take advantage of Ozuna being out of the lineup and take the edge from the offensive side. If the Pirates could get some runs on the board early, I believe that they could pull off the upset.
BetOnline has St. Louis listed as a -166 against the money line for Tuesday night’s game. This implies that the Cardinals will win this game around 62.4 percent of the time. I believe that this is too big of a spread. These two division rivals have played plenty of close games this season and I believe that the Pirates could sneak out an upset on Tuesday. As big underdogs, Pittsburgh has a lot of value, making them my pick of the night.