Vance Worley (2-2, 3.90 ERA) and Carlos Martinez (3-0, 3.64 ERA) take the hill in the second of a three-game series between the Pittsburgh Pirates (13-16) and the St. Louis Cardinals (22-7) at PNC Park. The Cardinals won the last game 8-5 and St. Louis leads the series 1-0. Action begins at 7:05 p.m. ET on Saturday, May. 9 and can be seen on FSN-MW and ROOT-PIT.
Worley is 0-0 with a 4.03 ERA in his appearances against the Cardinals, and goes up against a good St. Louis offense which is batting .273 this season. Starling Marte (.275, 15 Rs, 7 HRs, 21 RBIs, 5 SBs) had another good game yesterday, going 3 for 4 with one RBI. Martinez is 0-1 with a 4.41 ERA when pitching against the Pirates. He takes on a below-average Pittsburgh offense which is hitting just .233 this season. Matt Holliday (.340, 15 Rs, 2 HRs, 17 RBIs, 2 SBs) went 1 for 4 yesterday with one run, one home run, and three RBIs.
Pittsburgh is a slim -109 favorite at home against St. Louis. According to the oddsmakers, the Over/Under (O/U) is currently seven runs. The Pirates have an overall money line of -427 and a record as the favorite of 10-8. Within its division, Pittsburgh has a 6-6 record as favorite and a 9-13 record SU. Pittsburgh's pitchers fall apart when division rivals are on the field. Its average runs allowed per game rises to 3.7 against fellow NL Central members, compared to its 3.2 season average.
In the other locker room, St. Louis is coming in with an overall money line of +1,252 and an impressive record of 3-2 as the dog. They have been playing solid baseball as the underdog with a 2-1 record against NL Central opponents, and a 16-5 record SU. Offensively, the Cardinals have really picked up the pace in the last 10 games. They have exceeded their season average of 4.5 runs per game by averaging 5.9 during that stretch. St. Louis's pitching staff has set the standard for its league, with an NL-low 2.53 ERA. When it comes to preventing batters from getting hits, the Cardinals are fifth in the NL with an average of 8.1 hits allowed per game. The Cardinals have established a reputation of overwhelming hitters with an NL-best 8.3 strikeouts per game, making them one of the top five teams in the league.
The Cardinals have the edge in the season series, 4-0. The Pirates have a 13-13 record against right-handed starting pitchers on the year, which is what they'll be facing when Martinez takes the mound. Worley (RHP) will be on the hill against the Cardinals, who have an 18-4 record against right-handed starting pitchers.
Predictions: SU Winner - STL, O/U - Over
The Cardinals hold a 17-5 record against the NL Central Division this season, while the Pirates have a 9-14 record against the division.
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 are coming into this game after allowing zero walks during their last outing. The Pirates have a 4-7 record when opponents give up that many walks.
When they outhit their opponents, the Cardinals are 14-5. The Pirates have a 10-3 record when outhitting opponents.
Ranking 25th, Pittsburgh is near the bottom of the league in runs, scoring 106 this season. St. Louis ranks in the top 10 at eighth with 134.
Ranking 26th, Pittsburgh is near the bottom of the league in walks, notching 65 this season. St. Louis ranks in the top 10 at ninth with 96.
When the Pirates hit at least one home run, they are 8-7. When the Cardinals hit at least one homer, they have a 12-3 record.