Charlie Morton (9-8, 4.54 ERA) and Michael Wacha (17-6, 3.15 ERA) take the hill in the second of a three-game series between the Pittsburgh Pirates (95-62) and the St. Louis Cardinals (99-58) at PNC Park. The Cardinals won the last game 3-0 and St. Louis leads the series 1-0. Action begins at 7:05 p.m. ET on Tuesday, Sep. 29 and can be seen on RTPT and FSMW.
Morton pitched 4.1 innings in his last outing, surrendering six runs, striking out five and walking one in a 13-7 defeat to the Rockies. Andrew McCutchen (.293, 88 Rs, 22 HRs, 95 RBIs, 11 SBs) went 1 for 3 yesterday with one stolen base. Wacha went 5.0 innings, surrendering three runs, striking out one and walking three in a 7-3 win over the Brewers in his most recent start. Matt Carpenter (.267, 96 Rs, 27 HRs, 83 RBIs, 4 SBs) went 1 for 4 yesterday with one run.
St. Louis is a narrow -113 favorite over Pittsburgh. According to the oddsmakers, the Over/Under (O/U) is currently seven runs. The Pirates have an overall money line of +2,296 and a record as the underdog of 20-26. Pittsburgh has had a discouraging season against division opponents, earning records of 8-18 and 31-39 as the underdog and SU respectively. It's been a struggle for opposing teams to score runs against the Pirates. The 3.7 runs that Pittsburgh's pitchers allow per game makes them the second-ranked staff in the NL. Opponents have consistently been struck out by the Pirates, who rank fourth in the NL in strikeouts per home game with 8.5.
Over in the other dugout, St. Louis is coming in with an overall money line of +2,487 and an impressive record of 83-39 as the favorite. They have been playing solid baseball as favorite with a 37-20 record against fellow NL Central members, and a 44-29 record SU. St. Louis's pitching staff has set the standard for its league, with an NL-low 2.89 ERA.
The Cardinals lead the season series, 9-8. The Pirates have a 77-47 record against right-handed starting pitchers on the year, which is what they'll be facing when Wacha takes the mound. Morton (RHP) will be on the hill against the Cardinals, who have a very good 75-40 record against right-handed starting pitchers.
Predictions: SU Winner - Pit, O/U - Over
The Cardinals hold a 45-29 record in matchups against NL Central Division rivals, while the Pirates currently sit at 31-40 in these games.
Pittsburgh has won 52% (37-34) of its games when leading after 7 innings. However, St. Louis has won 58% (33-24) of its games when taking a late lead.
After a weak showing last week where they got in six hits, the Cardinals need to step it up. The Pirates have a record of 37-11 when opponents get six hits or fewer.
When they outhit their opponents, the Cardinals are 59-17. The Pirates have a 68-7 record when outhitting opponents.
Ranking 22nd in runs, St. Louis has earned 634 this season. Pittsburgh ranks 11th with 677 runs.
Ranking 17th, Pittsburgh is in the bottom half of the league in walks, notching 446 this season. St. Louis ranks in the top 10 at seventh with 491.
The Pirates are 62-28 when they hit at least one home run. The Cardinals perform similarly when they hit one or more homers with a 65-25 record.