The Pittsburgh Pirates visit the St. Louis Cardinals on Sunday in what will likely be a must-win game for the Cardinals as St. Louis is battling for the last Wild Card spot in the National League. The Pirates are expected to send Ryan Vogelsong to the mound in this game while the Cardinals go with Adam Wainwright. Let’s look at the matchup and MLB picks.

Probable Pitching Matchup – Vogelsong vs. Wainwright

It has been ugly for Vogelsong of late as he has an 8.77 ERA in his last six starts. This could be the final start of his career as he is 39 years old and it is hard to see him getting another shot next season with another team. He is 3-7 on the season with a 5.00 ERA.  Vogelsong allowed four runs and four hits last time out in a loss to the Cubs. Vogelsong is 0-2 in his last three starts with a 6.59 ERA.

Wainwright has not been the ace of the Cardinals staff as expected this season as his ERA is nearly five. His record is 13-9 and he has been better at home with wins in five of his last six home starts. He allowed five runs and 10 hits last time out against Cincinnati. He has allowed less than four runs just once in his last five starts. He is 2-1 with a 7.02 ERA in his last three starts.

Game Notes

The Pirates were 40-38 in their first 78 road games with 39 going over, 36 going under with 3 pushes. The Pirates are scoring 4.5 runs per game and allowing about 4.2 runs per contest.

The Cardinals were just 35-43 in their first 78 home games with 37 going over, 38 going under with 3 pushes. St. Louis is scoring 4.8 runs per game and allowing 4.1 per contest.

Game Trends

The Pirates are 4-1 in the last 5 meetings in St. Louis. The Pirates are 6-2 in their last 8 road games. The Pirates are 1-3 in their last 5 vs. the National League Central. The Cardinals are 2-7 in their last 9 home games vs. a team with a winning road record.

The Over is 4-1 in the Pirates last 5 overall. The Over is 7-3-1 in the Pirates last 11 vs. the National League Central. The Under is 8-2 in the Cardinals last 10 home games. The Under is 7-2 in the Cardinals last 9 home games vs. a right-handed starter. The Under is 11-4 in the Cardinals last 15 games vs. a right-handed starter.

MLB Picks

This is a game that the Cardinals have to win and they do have the edge in the pitching matchup as Vogelsong has simply been awful for the Pirates lately. Wainwright hasn’t been that good but the Cardinals should win this one. I will lay the price with St. Louis and also take the game over the total.