Carlos Martinez (4-1, 2.60 ERA) and the St. Louis Cardinals (15-14) meet Francisco Liriano (2-1, 3.86 ERA) and the Pittsburgh Pirates (15-13) in the first of a three-game division series at Busch Stadium. The game starts at 8:15 p.m. ET on Friday, May. 6 and will air on FSMW and RTPT.
In his most recent outing, Martinez pitched 6.2 innings, allowing four runs and striking out eight in a 6-1 loss to the Nationals. Jeremy Hazelbaker (.309, 12 Rs, 5 HRs, 13 RBIs, 2 SBs) went 1 for 3 yesterday with one run. The Pirates were victorious the last time Liriano pitched. He had a good outing, pitching 6.2 innings, allowing one run and striking out six in a 5-1 victory over the Reds. Gregory Polanco (.300, 18 Rs, 3 HRs, 15 RBIs, 2 SBs) went 1 for 3 Wednesday.
Oddsmakers have deemed this game a St. Louis -130 matchup and the Over/Under (O/U) is currently 7.
The previous three games have all gone Pittsburgh's way.
Predictions: SU Winner - STL
The Cardinals hold a 5-7 record this season against teams in the NL Central Division. The Pirates' record in these matchups is 8-7.
Pittsburgh has won 43% (6-8) of its games when leading after seven innings. However, St. Louis has won 64% (9-5) of its games when taking a late lead.
The Pirates managed to give up five walks in their last game. They'll have to pick it up against the Cardinals who are heading in with a 6-2 record against opponents who give up that many walks or more.
When they are outhit, the Cardinals are 2-11. The Pirates have a 2-9 record when opponents outhit them.
Ranking 18th in home runs, Pittsburgh has hit 26 this season. St. Louis ranks second with 41 home runs.
Pittsburgh tops the league in hits with 10.00 per game this season. St. Louis ranks in the top five at fourth with 9.38.
Ranking sixth, Pittsburgh is in the top 10 of the league for its on-base plus slugging percentage (.799). St. Louis ranks in the top five at third with an OPS of .819.
When the Pirates allow at least one home run, the team is 8-10. St. Louis has the same record when it allows one or more homers.