Jonathon Niese (6-2, 3.93 ERA) and Mike Leake (4-4, 4.22 ERA) are on the hill in the last of a three-game series between the Pittsburgh Pirates (32-30) and the St. Louis Cardinals (34-28) at PNC Park. The Cardinals won the last game 5-1, and St. Louis leads the series 2-0. Action begins at 5:05 p.m. ET on Sunday, Jun. 12 and can be seen on ESPN.
Niese pitched 7.0 innings in his last outing, surrendering zero runs, striking out two and walking two in a 3-1 win over the Mets. Starling Marte (.329, 33 Rs, 5 HRs, 22 RBIs, 19 SBs) continued his strong play yesterday, going 3 for 4. Leake went 6.1 innings, surrendering six runs and striking out five in a 7-6 defeat to the Reds in his most recent start. Brandon Moss (.256, 33 Rs, 14 HRs, 32 RBIs) has been successful at the plate for the Cardinals, going 2 for 4 yesterday with one run.
The Pirates are a -110 favorite with a total of 8.5.
Pick - Stl
This season, the Cardinals hold an even 13-13 record against NL Central teams. The Pirates sit at 12-13 against these opponents.
Having scored one run in their last game, the Pirates are going to have to step it up if they want to win this matchup. The Cardinals have a 7-1 record in games where opponents scored one run or less.
It looks like the Cardinals have a slight leg up on the Pirates, as the Cardinals have won their last four games while the Pirates have lost their last four.
When they outhit their opponents, the Pirates are 24-7. The Cardinals have a 28-4 record when outhitting opponents.
Ranking sixth in runs, Pittsburgh has earned 297 this season. St. Louis ranks second with 342 runs.
Ranking seventh, Pittsburgh is in the top 10 of the league for its on-base plus slugging percentage (.772). St. Louis ranks in the top five at second with an OPS of .797.
The Cardinals are 18-21 when they allow at least one home run. The Pirates perform similarly when they allow one or more homers with an 18-24 record.