PIRATES Vs CARDINALS
Dave Covers Spreads, MLB FREE PICKS
NL Central rivals will close out a four-game series on Thursday night at Busch Stadium with the Pittsburgh Pirates taking on the St. Louis Cardinals. Ace, Jack Flaherty is making his season debut, but will he be able to out-throw up and comer Roansy Contreras? Let’s find out in my MLB FREE PICK
The story for this game is Jack Flaherty. Making his season debut on Wednesday after being out for the first two months whilst recovering from right shoulder bursitis. Flaherty made only two rehabs starts before this game, which may be unusual but himself and the team seem confident in his return .
The 26-year-old made one start for the Double-A Springfield Cardinals and threw 3 scoreless innings with only 1 hit surrendered, and then five days later threw 4 innings for the Memphis Redbirds and also allowed only 1 hit. Based on his rehab assignments, Flaherty will likely be limited to 60 pitches on Wednesday night. This leaves the stretch pitching to Andre Pallante who has been really good this season for the Cardinals. Pallante has appeared in 19 games for the Cardinals this season and has posted a 1.04 ERA. His last two appearances were starts and he threw 9.1 innings and surrendered only 1 run and 8 hits to the Cubs and Reds.
The Cardinals are 4-1 in their last 5 games batting .243 with a combined ERA of 3.68. Nolan Arenado has 14 doubles, 11 home runs and 41 RBI for the Cardinals. Paul Goldschmidt is 13-for-33 with two doubles and four home runs over the past 10 games.
The Pirates seem like a good team for Flaherty to come back too. Batting just .217 in their last 5, with a combined ERA of 4.45. Bryan Reynolds leads Pittsburgh with 10 home runs while slugging .434. Jack Suwinski is 7-for-33 with two home runs and two RBI over the last 10 games.
Whilst pushing for 500 earlier in the season they seem much worse off now after falling 9 straight games. Roansy Contreras will do his best to put a end to this streak as he takes the mound. Coming into this game he is posting a 1-1 record over 28 innings of work, 2.57 ERA and 1.18 WHIP. Contreras is a strikeout-first type of pitcher since he has a 28.2% strikeout rate this season and ranks in the 92nd percentile for chase rate and 84th percentile for whiff rate. However, Contreras finds himself in trouble when he loses control of his slider or curveball and resorts to his fastball more than he should. When Contreras starts to get into danger, the Pirates will involve their bullpen, which more often than not backfires for Pittsburgh.
I am trusting Flaherty to come back strong, throw 60 pitches dominating the Pirates before allowing the strong Cardinals bullpen to carry them home for another victory, marking the Pirates 10th straight loss.
FREE PICK: St Louis Cardinals ML (1U)