The race for the second wildcard spot in the National League continues as the St. Louis Cardinals hope to maintain their advantage in Game 2 of their current series against the Pittsburgh Pirates on 9/11/18 at Busch Stadium.

The Cardinals came from behind to beat the Pirates in the series opener on Monday. Matt Adams drilled a three run homer in the 8th inning to lead St. Louis to a come from behind 8-7 win. The victory moved the Cardinals two games ahead of the Los Angeles Dodgers in the battle for the 2nd wild card spot in the National League. The Dodgers lost to the Cincinnati Reds 6-10 on Monday.

Musgrove Bounces Back

Right hander Joe Musgrove will open on top of the hill for the Pirates. The 25 year old from El Cajon, California has stated in a total of 17 games this season and has accumulated a record of 6-8. He has an ERA of 3.75 and a WHIP of 1.18 this season.

In his last outing last September 4, 2018, Musgrove bounced back from back to back poor starts as he earned a win during the Pirates’ 7-3 triumph over the Cincinnati Reds. Musgrove allowed two runs on five hits across 6.1 innings of pitch work while walking no batter and striking out eight.

Musgrove has pitched at least six innings in seven out of his last nine starts but is 2-4 with one no-decision in his last seven starts. In his last three starts, he has given up a total of 11 runs on 18 hits with one walk and 19 strikeouts over that period.

The man to watch for the Pirates is 26 year old second baseman Adam Frazier. The former Mississippi State product has an on base plus slugging (OPS) of .979 with seven RBIs in 46 at bats against the Cardinals. Against Cardinals’ starter Miles Mikolas, he has five hits and 2 RBIs in 12 at bats this season while Gregory Polanco is 3-12 with 2 RBIs.
and 8 walks while fanning a total of 29 New York batters. The Mets are batting only .195 against Nola this season.

What’re the Odds?

Pittsburgh Pirates vs St. Louis Cardinals 9/11/18
Odds: Pirates +130, Cardinals -140
Odds from as of 9/10/18

Mikolas 0-2 Against Pirates

Miles Mikolas gets the start for the Cardinals. The 30 year old from Jupiter, Florida has started in a total of 28 games this season and has posted a 14-4 win-loss record. Mikolas has an ERA of 3.06 with a WHIP of 1.13. He ranks 2nd in the National League in win percentage, 4th in wins and 7th in innings pitched, ERA and WHIP.

Mikolas picked up the win in his last start last September 5, 2018 as the Cardinals beat the Washington Nationals 7-6. However, he was far from dominant in that contest but his team provided him enough runs to get him win #14, the most among the team’s pitching staff. Mikolas allowed four runs on 12 hits while striking out two across 6.2 innings of pitching work.

Mikolas had a sub 3.00 ERA from May until his last start. He started four times against the Pirates this season and he has a record 0-2 with an ERA of 3.38 against Pittsburgh. In a total of 24 innings pitched against the Pirates, he’s given up 10 runs on 25 hits while allowing Pittsburgh batters to hit at a .275 batting averages.

Among the Cardinals, left fielder Marcell Ozuna has the most success against Musgrove this season. The 27 year old Dominican Republic native has two hits in three at bats against Musgrove this season. First baseman Jose Martinez also has 2 hits against Musgrove this season in 6 at bats with 2 RBIs.

Who Wins?

The Cardinals lead the season series 9-7 and have won four out of the last five meetings between these two teams. However, St. Louis is just 1-4 in their last five Game 2’s of a series. On the other hand, the Pirates have won four out of their last five Game 2’s of a series, four out of their last five against National League Central teams and their last five games overall.

But St. Louis has taken five of the seven home games in their season series and are 37-31 overall at home. The Pirates meanwhile are 31-37 on the road this season. Momentum is also on the side of the Cardinals as they are coming off a come from behind 8-7 win over the Pirates during Monday’s series opener.

Betting Prediction

The Pirates are 0-4 in Musgrove’s last four starts on the road while the Cardinals are 5-1 in Mikolas’ last six starts at Busch Stadium. Sure Mikolas is 0-2 against the Pirates this season. But he’s given up just 9 earned runs in 24 innings against Pittsburgh and he’s had a good season overall. I think pitching and momentum decides this one.

We’re picking the St. Louis Cardinals to beat the Pittsburgh Pirates on 9/11/18.

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What Else To Bet On This Game?

Aside from betting on the winner, you may want to bet on the run total for this game. Here is the current betting line from Bovada as of 9/10/18:

Run Total Odds: Under 8 -115, Over 8 -105

Betting Prediction

As we said in our game prediction, pitching could decide this game so we’re not expecting a repeat of Monday’s 8-7 score. The Under is 6-0 in Pittsburgh’s last six road games and 19-7 in the Cardinals’ last 26 games against the Pirates. Prior to Monday, the Cardinals only scored an average of 3.9 runs per game against the Pirates while Mikolas has given up only a total of 10 runs in 24 innings against the Pirates.

Prediction: Under 8

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