MLB Baseball Betting: Pittsburgh Pirates at St. Louis Cardinals

MLB Baseball Betting:  Pittsburgh Pirates at St. Louis Cardinals

Things are about to get very interesting in the NL Central–at least they will if the Chicago Cubs don’t get back on the winning track. The Cubs were humiliated by the New York Mets on Sunday. For a team that has struggled at the plate for most of the season the Mets they didn’t have any trouble putting runs across the plate as they pounded up 22 hits and 14 runs en route to a 14-3 victory over Chicago. The Cardinals also won on Sunday meaning that they’re now just 8 games behind the Cubs. The Pirates also won on Sunday meaning that the Pirates are just 2.5 games back of the Cards and 10.5 games back of the Cubs. Clearly, this is an important game for everyone concerned.

Pittsburgh had struggled on the road this season but their recent run has them close to ‘break even’ away from home. They’re 19-22 -1.6 units on the road. They’ve struggled against opponents with winning records (17-28 -10.5 units). The Cardinals for whatever reason have played much better on the road than at home. They’re 25-15 away from home but at Busch Stadium they’re 18-23 -11.9 units. The Pirates will start lefthander Jon Niese who has been somewhere between bad and mediocre this season. Pittsburgh has split his 16 starts and his 8 road starts but have lost his last three starts. He’s got a 5.07 ERA overall and a 5.32 road ERA. In his last three starts he’s put up a woeful 7.31 ERA and it’s not the case where one bad start has unduly influenced his record. He’s allowed 4, 5 and 4 earned runs in his last three assignments.

St. Louis will go with right hander Carlos Martinzez who has a downright bizarre stat line. The Cards are 7-8 in his starts overall, 3-6 in his home starts and 0-3 in his last three starts. Yet Martinzez has a 2.83 ERA and 1.112 WHIP overall, a 3.74 ERA and 1.226 WHIP at home and get this–a 0.45 ERA and 1.050 WHIP in his last three starts. He’s pitched 20 innings in his last three starts and allowed just 1 earned run–and no ‘unearned runs’ yet somehow the Cards lost them all.

The Pirates have won 2 of 3 games on the Cards’ home field and 5 of 9 overall. At this price we’ll back the road team.