MLB Picks: Pittsburgh Pirates vs. St. Louis Cardinals

The Pittsburgh Pirates (9-14) and St. Louis Cardinals (12-11) will open up a National League Central series Friday night at Busch Stadium, with the first pitch scheduled for 8:15 p.m. ET

Pittsburgh Pirates vs. St. Louis Cardinals 

The Pittsburgh Pirates are 1-6 in their last 7 road games against the St. Louis Cardinals
The Pittsburgh Pirates are 1-6 in their last 7 road games against the St. Louis Cardinals

Pittsburgh has lost three games in a row, including a 2-1 setback to the Cincinnati Reds as -110 home favorites Thursday, while going UNDER the betting total in each of those affairs.  The Pirates have been getting solid offensive production from outfielder Andrew McCutchen, who is batting .373 with four home runs and 10 RBIs in his last 13 games.  The franchise is 12-10 versus St. Louis since the start of the 2013 campaign.  Pittsburgh is 1-3 as road underdogs of +100 to +125 this season, with the UNDER going 3-1 in that situation.

Pirates starting pitcher Gerrit Cole (2-1, 3.67 ERA) has watched the club drop his last two efforts, as he didn’t factor into the decision of a 3-2 home defeat to the Milwaukee Brewers last time out—allowing a single run and six hits over eight frames.  The right-hander has served up four home runs in 27 innings of work, with opposing hitters batting .260 against him.  Cole registered a 12-2 home win over the Cardinals on April 4, as he gave up two runs and six hits over seven frames.

St. Louis will look to put an end to a two-game losing streak, which includes a 4-1 defeat to the New York Mets as -130 road favorites Thursday, while going UNDER the betting total for a fifth consecutive affair.  The Cardinals will have catcher Yadier Molina back in the lineup, as he’s touting a career best-matching 14-game hitting streak.  It’s important to point out that Molina is batting .149 over his last 13 contests in this rivalry.  St. Louis is 18-17 at home with a money line of -100 to -125 the last two-plus seasons, with the UNDER going 18-16 in that situation.

Cardinals starting pitcher Shelby Miller (1-2, 3.57 ERA) didn’t earn a decision in a 3-2 road loss to the Washington Nationals last time out, as he tossed 5.1 shutout innings and scattered just four hits.  The right-hander was handed a 4-0 loss against the Cincinnati Reds in his only home start this season.  Miller owns a career mark of 0-5 with a 5.93 ERA versus the Pirates.

Sports bettors will likely back the Cardinals due to their 6-1 record in their last seven home games against the Pirates.

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