Lance Lynn (1-2, 3.63 ERA) and A.J. Burnett (0-1, 1.80 ERA) take the hill in the first of a three-game series between the St. Louis Cardinals (15-6) and the Pittsburgh Pirates (12-10) at Busch Stadium. Action begins at 8:15 p.m. ET on Friday, May. 1 and can be seen on ROOT-PIT and FSN-MW.
Lynn is 5-3 with a 4.71 ERA in his appearances against the Pirates, but goes up against a below-average Pittsburgh offense which is batting just .230 this season. Matt Carpenter (.372, 21 Rs, 3 HRs, 14 RBIs) continued his strong play yesterday, going 2 for 3 with three runs and one RBI. Burnett is 9-6 with a 3.87 ERA against the Cardinals in his career. He is up against a quality St. Louis offense that's batting .274. Starling Marte (.247, 13 Rs, 6 HRs, 17 RBIs, 3 SBs) went 1 for 3 Wednesday with one run, two RBIs, and one stolen base.
St. Louis is a -140 favorite against Pittsburgh and the Over/Under (O/U) for this game is sitting at seven runs. The Cardinals have recorded an overall money line of +678 and have shown high-level performance as a favorite this season with a record of 11-4. St. Louis is an impressive 6-2 as the favorite over its last 10 games. Opposing offenses have been stifled by the Cardinals, who have a team ERA of only 2.40. The Cardinals are the third-best team in the league at limiting hits and walks to their opponents, recording a WHIP of 1.11 so far this season.
In games where it is the underdog, Pittsburgh has a 3-4 record and an overall money line of +78. They are 3-4 as the underdog against fellow NL Central members, and 8-8 SU. The Pirates allow 3.2 runs per game, but does worse whenever another team from the NL Central Division is on the schedule. They bring that runs allowed average up to 3.9 against division foes.
The Cardinals have a great 7-1 record at home (13-4 overall) against right-handed starting pitchers, which is what they'll be facing when Burnett takes the mound. Lynn (RHP) will be on the hill against the Pirates, who have a 12-8 record against right-handed starting pitchers.
Predictions: SU Winner - STL, O/U - Over
The Cardinals have a 10-4 record against the NL Central Division, while the Pirates have split their meetings with divisional opponents, 8-8.
When leading after 7 innings, St. Louis is 5-3, while Pittsburgh is 2-4.
The Cardinals are coming into this game after allowing two walks during their last outing. The Pirates have a 7-8 record when opponents give up that many walks or fewer.
When they are outhit, the Pirates are 2-8. The Cardinals have a 2-1 record when opponents outhit them.
Ranking 23rd in home runs, St. Louis has hit 14 this season. Pittsburgh ranks 15th with 18 home runs.
Ranking 12th, Pittsburgh is in the top half of the league in hits, notching 7.59 per game. St. Louis ranks in the top five at second with 9.20.
Ranking 25th, Pittsburgh is near the bottom of the league for its on-base plus slugging percentage (.640). St. Louis ranks in the top 10 at sixth with an OPS of .746.
When the Pirates allow at least one home run, they are 2-6. When the Cardinals allow one or more homers, they have a 6-3 record.