Game Time: 7:15 pm ET, Saturday, August 21, 2021
Venue: Busch Stadium, St. Louis, MO
Where to Watch: MLB Network
Pittsburgh Pirates: 42-79 (5th place, NL Central)
St Louis Cardinals: 62-58 (3rd place NL Central)
Opening Odds at USA Sportsbooks:
DraftKings: Pittsburgh Pirates +160, St Louis Cardinals -190, Over/Under 9
Bet365: N/A, N/A, N/A
BetMGM: Pittsburgh Pirates +150, St Louis Cardinals -180, Over/Under 9
Pittsburgh: Anthony Alford (CF) Out indefinitely due to a back injury.
St Louis: Dylan Carlson (RF) Probable to be back for Tuesday’s game against the Tigers.
1. HOY PARK (SS)
2. KE'BRYAN HAYES (3B)
3. BRYAN REYNOLDS (CF)
4. COLIN MORAN (1B)
5. YOSHI TSUTSUGO (LF)
6. WILMER DIFO (2B)
7. GREGORY POLANCO (RF)
8. MICHAEL PEREZ (C)
9. JT BRUBAKER (P)
1. TOMMY EDMAN (2B)
2. PAUL GOLDSCHMIDT (1B)
3. NOLAN ARENADO (3B)
4. TYLER O'NEILL (LF)
5. LARS NOOTBAAR (RF)
6. PAUL DEJONG (SS)
7. HARRISON BADER (CF)
8. ANDREW KNIZNER (C)
9. JON LESTER (P)
Batting Average: BRYAN REYNOLDS (.306)
Hits: BRYAN REYNOLDS (131)
Home Runs: BRYAN REYNOLDS (21)
RBI: BRYAN REYNOLDS (72)
Stolen Bases: GREGORY POLANCO (14)
Wins: CHRIS STRATTON (4)
Saves: CHRIS STRATTON (1)
ERA: STEVEN BRAULT (1.84)
Batting Average: PAUL GOLDSCHMIDT (.282)
Hits: PAUL GOLDSCHMIDT (129)
Home Runs: NOLAN ARENADO (25)
RBI: NOLAN ARENADO (80)
Stolen Bases: TOMMY EDMAN (19)
Wins: ADAM WAINWRIGHT (11)
Saves: ALEX REYES (27)
ERA: T.J. McFARLAND (2.25)
Pittsburgh: Derek Shelton (2nd season)
St Louis: Mike Shildt (4th season)
The Pittsburgh Pirates come into this game having an awful season this year. They are currently on a five-game losing skid and have lost 13 of their last 14. They have been really bad in road games this season too. They have lost their last 8 straight on the road and have lost 10 of their last 11 there as well. The St. Louis Cardinals have been having a much better season than the Pirates have. The Cardinals have won 7 of their last 9 games. After winning 6 in a row they went on a 2 game losing streak but they cracked that with a win on Thursday getting back on track. They have not been doing too well at home recently though, they have just 3 of their last 6 games. Friday night's game is still to be played to see who the winners are between these two.
The St. Louis Cardinals have a big advantage over the Pittsburgh Pirates in the series history this season. The Cardinals have a winning record of 9-3 against the Pirates this year. After a 5-0 start against them, they stumbled a bit going 1-3 against them in the four-game series after that. They got back on track though, with a 3-0 sweep of the Pirates in the last series they played them in just over a week ago. They have been better against them on the road as well as the Cardinals are 3-3 in home games against the Pirates this season.
The Pittsburgh Pirates come into this game as one of the worst teams in the MLB when it comes to hitting. They are ranked 26th in the league for batting average (.233), 30th in the league for RBI (407), 25th in the league for hits (931), and they are ranked 24th in the league for OBP (.303). They have been having just as bad a year on the pitching side as they find themselves in the bottom 10 of the MLB. They are ranked 28th in the league for ERA (5.09), 30th in the league for saves (15), 23rd in the league for strikeouts (983), and they are ranked 27th in the league for WHIP (1.41).
The St. Louis Cardinals have not been any better in the hitting department as they rank in the bottom 10 of the MLB as well. They are ranked 20th in the league for batting average (.237), 24th in the league for RBI (474), 24th in the league for hits (941), and they are ranked 21st in the league for OBP (.309). They have had an alright year when it comes to pitching this season as they are ranked more as a middle of the pack team in the MLB. They are ranked 14th in the league for ERA (4.09), 7th in the league for saves (33), 30th in the league for strikeouts (919), and they are ranked 19th in the league for WHIP (1.33).
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Pirates vs Cardinals
The Pittsburgh Pirates and the St. Louis Cardinals will be starting a three-game series on Friday night. The Pirates got plastered by the Los Angeles Dodgers 9-0 in their last outing on Wednesday night, getting Thursday off to recollect themselves. Meanwhile, the Cardinals played onThursday getting a big 8-4 win over the Milwaukee Brewers. Friday will feature this National League Central battle between Mitch Keller and Miles Mikolas on the mound.
Dillon Peters will be the starting pitcher for the Pirates on Saturday night. He is 0-1 this season with a 1.93 ERA. Peters has only played in the 1 game this season and he was credited with the loss in it. He pitched a little over 4 innings in that one allowing 2 runs, 1 earned, on 5 hits. He did not pitch awful in that game but, with just the one start under his belt this season it is tough to know what you are going to get out of him on top of the hill this game. The Pirates are currently in a terrible slump right now so anything that looks to be even slightly on the good side is an upgrade from their current situation.
J.A. Happ will be throwing the first pitch on Saturday for the Cardinals. He is 7-6 this season with a 6.03 ERA. Happ was recently acquired from the Twins and he did not pitch well in his final games for them. He averaged over 5 earned runs allowed per game in his last 5 starts for the Twins. He has turned the page though, since coming to the Cardinals he has been awarded with 2 wins, the team winning 2 of the 3 games he played in. He did not allow more than 2 earned runs in each of those 3 games, including a shutout of the Royals through 5 innings in his last start. Happ has faced the Pirates twice this season, once as a Twin and once as a Cardinal just over a week ago. He is 2-0 against them and has only allowed 1 ER total between those 2 games.
"When you get behind, and we don't score a lot of runs anyway, it gets very frustrating. Because it takes us out of our ability to be aggressive." - Derek Shelton’s thoughts on his team's mindset this season after losing 9-0 to the Dodgers on Wednesday.
"They threw their best arms at us. Honestly that's what we should expect being the Cardinals, anyway. We're in the hunt. We're obviously looking up on the leaderboard there right now, but it's a day-by-day thing." - Tyler O’Neill after a big win against division rival Brewers as he hit a homerun to help the Cardinals go on to victory.
Pittsburgh: 23-41 for +0.2 units when playing as a +150 or higher underdog this season.
St Louis: 35-21 for +8.4 units when playing as a -110 or higher underdog this season.
Pirates Cardinals Prediction:
Our MLB Pick for Saturday, August 21, 2021 (7:15pm ET start time) is Cardinals 4 Pirates 2.
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