Cardinals vs Pirates Pick

Cardinals looking to get over .500 against Pirates

It’s been a disappointing season for the St. Louis Cardinals. After trading for Nolan Arenado in the offseason and re-signing long-time veterans Adam Wainwright and Yadier Molina in the offseason St. Louis looked like the favorite to win the National League Central entering the season.

Unfortunately for Cardinals fans, that is far from the reality of what has transcribed this season. Entering Wednesday’s games the Cardinals find themselves 11 games back of the first-place Milwaukee Brewers in the division and are 8.5 games back of the Cincinnati Reds for just third place in the Wild Card race.

It looks like postseason play is out of the question for the Cardinals, who this week Fangraphs gave less than a three percent chance to make the playoffs. However, St. Louis hasn’t finished under the .500 mark in a season since 2007. The Cardinals are looking to get back over the .500 mark on Wednesday with a game in Pittsburgh against the Pirates.

Pitching matchup: Adam Wainwright vs. Wil Crowe

Adam Wainwright might be one of the oldest starting pitchers in Major League Baseball this season, but you wouldn’t know it by his numbers. The 39-year-old has a 10-6 record this season in his 22 starts with a 3.48 ERA in 139.2 innings pitched.

Wainwright doesn’t possess the great strikeout curveball that he did back in the late 2000s or early 2010s, but his 12-to-6 breaking ball has still been a reliable go-to strikeout pitch for him this season and is a big reason why Wainwright has fanned 130 hitters this season, which is about 8.5 strikeouts per nine innings.

Wainwright is coming off four consecutive stats of at least seven innings pitched and has gone at least six innings in all five of his starts post-All-Star Break. In his most recent outing, Wainwright went seven innings against the Kansas City Royals and gave up two earned runs and just three hits while striking out five on 96 pitches.

Wednesday will be Wainwright’s second start against the Pirates this season, with the first coming back on June 26. In that start, Wainwright went six innings and gave up just one run with eight strikeouts, earning his sixth win of the season.

Will Crowe takes the ball for the Pirates on Wednesday and he will look to get some positive momentum flowing in what has been a challenging season for the 26-year-old righty. In 17 games this season — 16 of which have been starts — Crowe has a 3-6 record with an ugly 5.47 ERA in just 75.2 innings pitched and 71 strikeouts.

Crowe has struggled with command at times this season, he has 4.4 walks per nine this season and that is a main reason why he has a WHIP over 1.5. When Crowe isn’t walking opponents, he has struggled to prevent hits — he gives up more than 9.5 hits on average in nine innings this season.

Crowe is coming off an outing against the Reds in which he earned his sixth loss of the season on Aug. 5. The righty went just four innings and gave up eight hits and three runs on 100 pitches against the potent reds lineup. Frustrating matters for Crowe and Pittsburg was that his start against Cincinnati came directly after this best start of the season, which was against the Phillies. Crowe went six innings and didn’t allow a run and help the Philadelphia lineup to just one hit.

That was just the second time this season that Crowe had reached the sixth inning, the first came back on May 8 when he went six innings in a 3-2 loss to the Cubs.

Our Betting Pick

Wainwright has been uber consistent for the Cardinals this season and has often been the man they have looked at for wins when the club needs them the most. With an opportunity to get back over .500, take the Cardinals on both the money line (-166) and run line (-102) tonight in Pittsburgh.

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Alec Busse is a journalism student at the University of Illinois with a minor in public relations entering his senior year. Alec covers Illinois football and men's basketball for Orange and Blue News, is a game picker for Tallysight and co-hosts the Inside the Arc Podcast. Alec is from O'Fallon, IL, a suburb of St. Louis and grew up cheering for the St. Louis Cardinals and Blues, Chicago Bears and Illinois Fighting Illini.

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