J.A. Happ (10-8, 3.88 ERA) and Lance Lynn (12-10, 3.16 ERA) are on the hill in the first of a three-game series between the Pittsburgh Pirates (95-61) and the St. Louis Cardinals (98-58) at PNC Park. Action begins at 7:05 p.m. ET on Monday, Sep. 28 and can be seen on RTPT, FSMW and ESP2.
Happ pitched 5.1 innings in his most recent start, surrendering three runs, striking out eight and walking one in a 6-3 win over the Rockies. Lynn went 6.0 innings, surrendering zero runs and striking out four in a 10-2 win over the Reds in his last outing. Matt Carpenter (.267, 95 Rs, 27 HRs, 83 RBIs, 4 SBs) has been successful at the plate for the Cardinals, going 2 for 5 yesterday with one run, one home run, and one RBI.
Pittsburgh is a -120 favorite against St. Louis and the Over/Under (O/U) for this game is sitting at seven runs. The Pirates have recorded an overall money line of +2,396 and have shown high-level performance as a favorite this season with a record of 75-35. Pittsburgh is an impressive 6-1 as the favorite over its last 10 games. The Pirates have seen an uptick in scoring as of late, averaging 5.5 runs during the last 10 games compared to their season average of 4.4 runs per game. Opposing batters know they're in for a battle when they play Pittsburgh. The Pirates are one of the top teams when it comes to pitching, allowing just 3.7 runs per game. Opponents have consistently been struck out by the Pirates, who rank fourth in the NL in strikeouts per home game with 8.5.
In games where it is the underdog, St. Louis has a 15-19 record and an overall money line of +2,487. Despite an underwhelming record as the underdog against NL Central opponents (7-9), they pulled off an impressive 44-29 SU record. St. Louis's pitching staff has set the standard for its league, with an NL-low 3.14 ERA on the road.
The Pirates have a great 40-19 record at home (77-46 overall) against right-handed starting pitchers, which is what they'll be facing when Lynn takes the mound. Happ (LHP) will be on the hill against the Cardinals, who have a 23-18 record against left-handed starting pitchers.
Predictions: SU Winner - Pit, O/U - Over
The Cardinals hold a 44-29 record in matchups against NL Central Division rivals, while the Pirates currently sit at 31-39 in these games.
Having scored zero runs in their last game, the Pirates are going to have to up their game if they want to win this matchup. The Cardinals have a 14-0 record in games where opponents scored that many runs.
When they are outhit, the Pirates are 19-47. The Cardinals have a 24-39 record when opponents outhit them.
Pittsburgh and St. Louis both rank near the bottom of the league in home runs. Pittsburgh sits at 22nd with 135 home runs this season and St. Louis ranks 25th with 133.
Ranking seventh, St. Louis is in the top 10 of the league in hits, notching 8.63 per game. Pittsburgh ranks in the top five at third with 9.16.
Pittsburgh and St. Louis both rank in the bottom half of the league for their on-base plus slugging percentage. Pittsburgh sits at 16th with an OPS of .723 and St. Louis ranks 18th with an OPS of .722.
When the Cardinals allow at least one home run, they are 41-42. When the Pirates allow one or more homers, they have a 40-37 record.