Jeff Locke (2-2, 4.85 ERA) and Tyler Lyons (0-0, 6.23 ERA) take the hill in the last of a three-game series between the Pittsburgh Pirates (14-16) and the St. Louis Cardinals (22-8) at PNC Park. The Pirates won the last game 7-5 and the series is currently tied 1-1. Action begins at 1:35 p.m. ET on Sunday, May. 10 and can be seen on FSN-MW, ROOT-PIT and MLB.
Locke is 2-2 with a 3.76 ERA in his appearances against the Cardinals, and goes up against a good St. Louis offense which is batting .274 this season. Neil Walker (.287, 14 Rs, 2 HRs, 12 RBIs, 2 SBs) went 1 for 4 yesterday with one run, one home run, and one RBI. Lyons is 0-2 with a 4.20 ERA against the Pirates in his career. He takes on a below-average Pittsburgh offense that's batting just .236. Matt Holliday (.354, 15 Rs, 2 HRs, 17 RBIs, 2 SBs) has been successful at the plate, going 3 for 5 yesterday.
Pittsburgh is a -133 favorite against St. Louis and the Over/Under (O/U) for this game is sitting at eight runs. The Pirates have an overall money line of -537 and a record as the favorite of 10-9. Pittsburgh has had a discouraging season against division opponents, earning records of 6-7 and 9-14 as the favorite and SU respectively. The Pirates have seen a decline in scoring as of late, averaging 2.7 runs during the last 10 games compared to their season average of 3.7 runs per game. Pittsburgh's pitchers fall apart when division rivals are on the field. Its average runs allowed per game rises to 3.9 against fellow NL Central members, compared to its 3.4 season average. Opponents have consistently been struck out by the Pirates, who rank third in the NL in strikeouts per home game with 9.0.
Over in the other dugout, St. Louis is coming in with an overall money line of +1,352 and an impressive record of 4-2 as the dog. They have managed to pull off a perfect record over their last ten games while playing as the underdog, and have a 9-1 SU record over the same span. The Cardinals are tough outs for opponents, leading the NL with 9.5 hits per game. St. Louis's pitching staff has set the standard for its league, with an NL-low 2.58 ERA. When it comes to preventing batters from getting hits, the Cardinals are fifth in the NL with an average of 8.2 hits allowed per game. The Cardinals have established a reputation of overwhelming hitters with an NL-best 8.1 strikeouts per game, making them one of the top five teams in the league.
The Cardinals lead the season series, 4-1. Locke (LHP) will be on the hill against the Cardinals, who have a 4-3 record against left-handed starting pitchers.
Predictions: SU Winner - STL, O/U - Over
The Cardinals sit at 17-6 against their divisional rivals, while the Pirates are 10-14.
When the Cardinals play into extra innings, they have a 4-1 record. The Pirates are 0-4 when their games exceed nine innings.
The Cardinals managed to give up four walks in their last game. They'll have to pick it up against the Pirates who are heading in with a 5-5 record against opponents who give up that many walks or more.
When they outhit their opponents, the Cardinals are 14-6. The Pirates have a 10-3 record when outhitting opponents.
Ranking 22nd, Pittsburgh is near the bottom of the league in runs, scoring 113 this season. St. Louis ranks in the top 10 at eighth with 139.
Ranking 26th, Pittsburgh is near the bottom of the league in walks, notching 69 this season. St. Louis ranks in the top 10 at ninth with 100.
The Pirates are 9-7 in games where they hit one or more home runs. The Cardinals are 12-3 when they hit at least one homer.