Sunday Night Baseball Preview: St. Louis Cardinals vs. Pittsburgh Pirates

The St. Louis Cardinals (18-19) and Pittsburgh Pirates (16-20) will close out a National League Central Series Sunday night at PNC Park, with the first pitch scheduled for 8:00 p.m. ET on ESPN

St. Louis Cardinals vs. Pittsburgh Pirates 

The St. Louis Cardinals are 12-6 following a loss this season
The St. Louis Cardinals are 12-6 following a loss this season

St. Louis is 3-5 on its current nine-game road trip, which includes a 4-3 setback to Pittsburgh as -118 favorites Saturday, while going UNDER the betting total for the third time in five contests.  Catcher Yadier Molina is mired in a 0-for-15 slump, and has been battling a cold the last few days.  He ranks second on the team with a .300 average and has six RBIs in his career against tonight’s opposing starter.  St. Louis is 4-8 on the road with a money line of -100 to -125 this season, with the UNDER going 8-4 in that situation.

Cardinals starting pitcher Shelby Miller (4-2, 3.20 ERA) has registered three consecutive victories, including a 4-3 road win over the Atlanta Braves last time out, as he gave up two runs and six hits over five innings of work.  The right-hander is 2-1 with a 3.32 ERA in four road appearances—serving up four home runs in 21.2 combined frames.  In six career games versus the Pirates, Miller has compiled a 1-5 record and 4.91 ERA.

Pittsburgh has won four games in a row, which includes cashing three tickets as home underdogs over that span.  The Pirates have gotten great production out of their leadoff hitters in that stretch—combining to go 12-for-31 at the plate since Starling Marte moved down in the order.  It’s important to monitor Sunday’s starting lineup, considering 2013 MVP Andrew McCutchen missed last night’s game due to a sore left foot.  Pittsburgh is 3-7 at home with a money line of -100 to -125, with the OVER going 7-3 in those 10 opportunities.

Pirates starting pitcher Charlie Morton (0-4, 3.45 ERA) didn’t earn a decision in a 2-1 home win over the San Francisco Giants in his last trip to the mound, as he surrendered just one run (zero earned) and three hits over eight innings.  The right-hander is 0-2 with a 2.77 ERA in four home appearances, with opposing hitters batting .211 against him.  In 14 lifetime outings versus the Cardinals, Morton has tallied a 2-9 record and 6.52 ERA.

Sports bettors will likely back the Cardinals due to their 12-6 record following a loss during the 2014 campaign.

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