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Pirates vs. Cardinals MLB Betting Preview

The Pittsburgh Pirates are the MLB betting favorite to defeat the St. Louis Cardinals for the second consecutive night tonight and thus make it seven wins in a row overall. The Pirates have won 7 out 11 versus the Cardinals so it’s safe to say that they have got their number. These are the odds for tonight’s game for people who bet on baseball:

Pirates +1½ (-160) 8½ (-120) +143

Cardinals -1½ (+140) 8½ (EV) -153

Last night, Pittsburgh beat St. Louis 5-2. The Cardinals had an early 2-90 lead as Stephen Piscotty and Aledmys Diaz scored runs in the 2nd and 3rd innings respectively. But when current St. Louis players were done scoring, former St. Louis players took over. Eric Fryer’s RBI single in the 5th tied the proceedings at two runs apiece. David Freese – who had scored the Pirates’ first run – followed it up in the 6th inning with a go-ahead RBI single to score Andrew McCutchen. Three batters later Fryer put the last touches on the final score with a two-run bloop double down the right-field line. Pittsburgh claimed Fryer off of waivers from the Cardinals only a couple of days ago on July 3rd, 2016. Freese also had his start in the majors in St. Louis. It’s all very ironic, only not really.

Cardinals starter Mike Leake was charged with all five runs and given his third consecutive loss. Tonight the Cards will start left-handed pitcher Jaime Garcia while the Pirates will start Jeff Locke, who is also of the lefty persuasion. As MLB betting fans should know, both Pittsburgh’s and St. Louis’s numbers versus left-handers are pretty much the same – the Pirates are hitting .266 with .775 OPS, and the Cards .260 with a .774 OPS against lefties. However, left-handed batters hit Garcia better (.280). On the other hand – literally – right-handed batters hit .278 versus Locke, who will have to be wary of All Star second baseman Matt Carpenter. Carpenter doubled off Locke on May 7th and then hit a walk-off homerun in the 9th off A.J. Schugel. Additionally, Randal Grichuk – who is 4 for 15 in his career versus Locke – was recalled from Triple-A Memphis and could start tonight.

Also on May 7th, Locke went six innings and gave up three runs on four hits. Since that date Locke has gone 7-3 with a 5.37 ERA and .258 average against, and is 3-4 with a 7.16 ERA and 1.59 WHIP in nine away starts this season. Moreover, he is 2-4 with a 4.04 ERA in nine career starts against the Cardinals. On Friday night, Locke allowed three runs over five innings but still earned his third straight win. Garcia is 2-1 versus the Pirates in his career, but has not started against them this season. St. Louis has won each of Garcia’s previous three starts, which could bode well for the Cards’ MLB betting chances tonight. Pittsburgh will have to keep an eye out for Garcia’s mean sinker-changeup combo. MLB betting fans must be excited as this has been a great season and odds reflect that.