Pittsburgh Pirates vs St Louis Cardinals Prediction, Odds and Preview - 08/22/2021

by Amedeus Mastrangelo

Game Time: 2:15 pm ET, Sunday, August 22, 2021
Venue:  Busch Stadium, St. Louis, MO
Where to Watch:  Bally Sports Midwest
 

Season-to-Date Record:

Pittsburgh Pirates:  43-79 (5th place, NL Central)
St Louis Cardinals:  62-59 (3rd place NL Central)
 

Opening Odds at USA Sportsbooks:

DraftKings:  Pittsburgh Pirates +175, St Louis Cardinals -210, Over/Under 8.5
Bet365:  Pittsburgh Pirates +175, St Louis Cardinals -210, Over/Under 8.5
BetMGM:  Pittsburgh Pirates +165, St Louis Cardinals -200, Over/Under 8.5
 

Key Injuries:

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.
 

Recent Lineups:

Pittsburgh:
1. BEN GAMEL (LF)
2. KE'BRYAN HAYES (3B)
3. BRYAN REYNOLDS (CF)
4. COLIN MORAN (1B)
5. JACOB STALLINGS (C)
6. GREGORY POLANCO (RF)
7. RODOLFO CASTRO (2B)
8. HOY PARK (SS)
9. MITCH KELLER (P)
 
St Louis:
1. TOMMY EDMAN (2B)
2. PAUL GOLDSCHMIDT (1B)
3. NOLAN ARENADO (3B)
4. TYLER O'NEILL (LF)
5. YADIER MOLINA (C)
6. LARS NOOTBAAR (RF)
7. PAUL DEJONG (SS)
8. HARRISON BADER (CF)
9. MILES MIKOLAS (P)
 

Statistical Leaders:

Pittsburgh:
Batting Average:  BRYAN REYNOLDS (.306)
Hits: BRYAN REYNOLDS (132)
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)
 
St Louis:
Batting Average:  PAUL GOLDSCHMIDT (.282)
Hits:  PAUL GOLDSCHMIDT (130)
Home Runs:  NOLAN ARENADO (25)
RBI:  NOLAN ARENADO (80)
Stolen Bases:  TOMMY EDMAN (19)
Wins:  ADAM WAINWRIGHT (11)
Saves:  ALEX REYES (27)
ERA:  MILES MIKOLAS (1.00)
 

Managers:

Pittsburgh:  Derek Shelton (2nd season)
St Louis:  Mike Shildt (4th season)
 

Recent Form:

The Pittsburgh Pirates come into this game having an awful season this year. They just snapped a five-game losing skid with a win over the Cardinals in the series opener but have lost 13 of their last 15. 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 before getting that win on Friday night. The St. Louis Cardinals have been having a much better season than the Pirates have. The Cardinals have won 7 of their last 10 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. Now with a loss on Friday they will be looking to get back on track once again. They have not been doing too well at home recently though, they have lost 4 of their last 7 games. Saturday night's game is still to be played to see who the winners are between these two.
 

Series History:

The St. Louis Cardinals have a big advantage over the Pittsburgh Pirates in the series history this season with more series wins between these two. The Cardinals have a winning record of  9-4 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 3-4 in home games against the Pirates this season.
 

Statistical Comparison:

The Pittsburgh Pirates come into this game as one of the worst teams in major league baseball when it comes to hitting stats. They are ranked 27th in the league for batting average (.232), 30th in the league for RBI (410), 25th in the league for hits (935), 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 (5.05), 30th in the league for saves (15), 23rd in the league for strikeouts (993), and they are ranked 28th 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 18th in the league for batting average (.238), 24th in the league for RBI (474), 23rd in the league for hits (951), and they are ranked 21st in the league for OBP (.310). 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 (4.07), 8th in the league for saves (33), 30th in the league for strikeouts (927), and they are ranked 18th in the league for WHIP (1.32).
 
Do not miss out on expert handicapper analysis! Larry Ness is 7-1-1 on MLB over/under plays in the month of August. For more great betting insights and MLB baseball predictions make sure you check out all of our cappers picks from the expert handicappers featured in the Shop Picks section.
 

Pirates vs Cardinals

Game Preview:

 
The Pittsburgh Pirates took the series opener of this three-game series on Friday night with a 4-0 win. The Cardinals have owned the Pirates this year overall but they have lost all 4 of their games against them at home in Missouri. The starting pitchers for Saturday night's game on August 21st will be Dillon Peters, who made his Pirates debut against the Milwaukee Brewers just a few weeks ago, and J.A. Happ, who pitched a shutout through 5 innings against the Kansas City Royals in his last start. Sunday afternoon's game will feature Steven Brault and Adam Wainwright as the starters in this National League Central division clash.
 
Steven Brault will be starting on the mound for the Pirates in this matchup. He is 0-1 this season with a 1.84 ERA. He has pitched in just 3 games this season and his team has lost all 3 games. He has only allowed 3 total earned runs throughout those 3 games, playing at least 4 innings in each. He has allowed 2 HRs though and a total of 8 hits all season. He has faced the Cardinals once already this season and that was the game where he gave up the 2 HRs. 
 
Adam Wainwright will be throwing the first pitch for the Cardinals in this game. He is 11-7 this season with a 3.26 ERA. His team has won 5 of the last 6 games that he has started in. He has only allowed more than 3 earned runs in a game just once in his last 6 games, including pitching a full game shutout against the Pirates back on Wednesday, August 11. He has faced the Pirates twice this season and his team won the game on both occasions while he has only allowed 1 ER total through both of those games.
 
The Cardinals odds opened as a favorite while the Pirates odds are listed as underdogs once again in the MLB betting odds. Considering the poor play by these Cardinals at home against the Pirates this season, there is definitely some value there at the right price. The Cardinals do have a major advantage with their pitching though, so this one could go their way this time.
 

Notable quotes:

"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.
 
"We had our chances. We had runners in scoring position and we had 12 on base. They made good pitches and we weren't able to cash in. We're disappointed in it." - Mike Shildt on his team losing despite having tons of runners on base in that game.
 

Trends:

Pittsburgh: 24-41 for +2 units when playing as a +150 or higher underdog this season.
St Louis: 35-22 for +6.4 units when playing as a -110 or higher underdog this season.
 
Pirates Cardinals Prediction:  Our MLB Pick for Sunday, August 22, 2021 (2:15pm ET start time) is Cardinals 5 Pirates 1.
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Amedeus Mastrangelo

About the Author:

Amedeus Mastrangelo has been heavily wagering on all sports for years and plays just about everything, including sides, totals, favorites, underdogs, against the spread, alternative spreads, first half, second half, player props, and futures. The bottom line is, if Mastrangelo can see an edge in any way shape or form, then he's going to take advantage.

All photographic images used for editorial content have been licensed from the Associated Press.

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