The St. Louis Cardinals and Pittsburgh Pirates will meet for the second time in two days at PNC Park. The Cardinals got off to a quick start on Friday night with a 7-3 win. John Gant reached 5 innings of work with 3 hits and 1 earned run allowed. Reliever Tyler Webb and his 1 hit and 2 earned runs allowed without getting out of an inning was the only blemish for the St. Louis pitching staff.
Gant will have to be better at preventing free bases, though, as he walked 5 batters to get himself into some trouble in spots. Pirates’ starter J. T. Brubaker didn’t give up a walk, but did allow 7 hits and 3 earned runs through 5 innings of work. The Cardinals were coming off a four-game split against the Philadelphia Phillies before the 7-3 win.
They defeated the Phillies by a score of 4-3 on Thursday against Aaron Nola. Kwang-hyun Kim went 5 innings for the Cardinals, holding the Phillies to just 1 run. There has been some good and bad for the Cards this season. The Cards are two games behind the Milwaukee Brewers for the lead in the NL Central.
St. Louis doesn’t have the best roster in the major leagues this season, but the division is so wide open that they could sneak up and win the NL Central. The Brewers are good, but they don’t stick out in particular. The Cubs who are usually reliable, aren’t going to be a threat this season.
That leaves the door open for the Cardinals to potentially steal the division. That’s the goal at least. It’s not like the Cardinals acquired Paul Goldschimdt to not make a postseason run. That goes for Nolan Arenado as well. When you look at the Cardinals on paper, this is a rock solid lineup.
Whether they’re consistent enough, and the pitching staff does enough is the question. For the pitching staff to be strong, it’s going to require Jack Flaherty holding form. Flaherty has been sharp thus far, and is expected to get the call tonight. Trevor Cahill is expected to counter for the Pirates. Head below for our free Cardinals vs. Pirates pick on May 1, 2021.
St. Louis Cardinals vs. Pittsburgh Pirates MLB Betting Odds:
Cardinals vs. Pirates Prediction:
Jack Flaherty has been in his element to open the 2021 season. It’s absolutely required for the Cardinals that Flaherty has a big season. Flaherty and someone else is going to have to step up to help put the Cards over the top as a contender. He’s been doing his part through five starts in St. Louis. After a tough opening performance against the Cincinnati Reds, Flaherty has responded well.
Overall, Flaherty goes into Saturday evening with an ERA of 3.18 and 0.95 WHIP. Opponents are hitting just .190 against Flaherty in 2021. This wasn’t the case in his opener against the Reds where he was pounded for a 12.46 ERA on 6 earned runs in 4.1 innings. In his previous three trips to the bump, Flaherty has posted an ERA of 2.00 and 0.78 WHIP with just 4 earned runs conceded in 18 innings of work. Note that the Pirates are hitting only .187 against Flaherty in 87 at-bats. They have yet to go deep against Flaherty. He should have the upper hand over the Pirates in this matchup.
Trevor Cahill has been incredibly inconsistent through four outings. He’s been like that for the last three years I should add. Cahill recorded an ERA of 5.98 in 2019, and then had one of the best seasons of his career, albeit, in the shortened campaign a year ago. He had a 3.24 ERA in 25 innings through six starts. So, yeah, sample size does matter. Cahill goes into tonight with a 7.11 ERA and 1.42 WHIP through 19 innings of work. However, Cahill was strong with just 2 hits and 1 earned run conceded in his most recent performance on April 24.
The Cardinals have gotten to Cahill for a .365 batting average and .391 OBP in 31 at-bats. They’ve scored 7 RBI against Cahill in that time. The former Giant has run into problems against Matt Carpenter, who is hitting .462, along with Goldschmidt that has been in good form versus Cahill with a .750 average at the dish. All signs point to the Cardinals getting back into the winner’s circle on Saturday at PNC Park.