After an off day on Tuesday, the St. Louis Cardinals (2-3) and the Pittsburgh Pirates (1-2) will pick back up their short two-game series on Wednesday from PNC Park in Pittsburgh. In the first matchup, the Cardinals won 6-5 in 11 innings. The winning run was scored on a wild pitch in the 11thinning, allowing Paul DeJong to score from third. In Wednesday night’s matchup, Miles Mikolas (0-1, 9.00 ERA) will take the mound for the Cardinals opposite of Pirates’ starter Jameson Taillon (0-1, 6.00 ERA). First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 pm ET.
The moneyline for Wednesday’s game is set at the St. Louis Cardinals +101 and the Pittsburgh Pirates -111. The over/under on runs scored is set at 7.5.
Cardinals Trying To Get To .500 Early In Season
After a dud of an opening day, Miles Mikolas is trying to rebound for a much stronger second outing. In his first matchup, a 5-4 loss to the Milwaukee Brewers, Mikolas went 5 innings, allowing 5 hits, 5 earned runs, walking 1 and striking out 3. The most alarming thing, though, is the fact that he gave up 3 home runs in the outing. Mike Moustakas, Christian Yellich and even pitcher Jhoulys Chacin all took him deep. Last year, Mikolas went 18-4 with a 2.83 ERA, 1.071 WHIP, and 146 strikeouts in 200.2 innings pitched. Most noticeable is the fact that he only gave up 16 home runs in those 200.2 innings. Thus, giving up 3 in his first outing is a little peculiar. Still, he will hope to bounce back against a much less dynamic Pittsburgh offense.
On the offensive side for the Cardinals, Kolten Wong and Paul Goldschmidt have been electric thus far. Wong is off to a blistering start, hitting .500/.550/1.056 with 3 home runs, 6 runs batted in, 5 runs scored and 2 stolen bases. For Goldschmidt, the prize acquisition for the Cardinals this offseason, he is hitting .300/.417/.900 with 4 home runs, 8 runs batted in, and 4 runs scored. They would like to get some of their other offensive players going, most notably Marcell Ozuna, but the pitching might be the key Wednesday night.
Pittsburgh Just Excited To Play
Between off days and rain outs, this will only be the fourth game that the Pirates have played to date. At 1-2, they would love to bounce back to split with the Cardinals before welcoming the Reds to PNC this weekend. Offensively, Colin Moran has started off the season nicely. He only has 4 official at-bats as he has walked 3 times, but he has a home run, 3 runs batted in and a double to his name thus far. Aside from Moran, though, no other Pirate is hitting higher than .250. If the Pirates hope to stay competitive in a relatively tough NL Central, they will have to get more production, particularly from players like Starling Marte and Corey Dickerson.
On the pitching side, like Miles Mikolas, Jameson Taillon did not have the best start to the season. In the opener against the Reds, he went 6 innings, allowing 6 hits, 4 earned runs, 2 walks and striking out 4. Last year with Pittsburgh, Taillon was 14-10 with a 3.2 ERA, 1.178 WHIP and struck out 179 in 191 innings. He obviously has better stuff than he showed opening day and I expect both pitchers to bounce back with decent outings.
Cardinals As The Underdog
On paper, I do like Jameson Taillon better, but frankly, I think both he and Miles Mikolas will have better games than they did opening day. As a result, it comes down to offense and bullpen in this one for me and in both areas; I think that the Cardinals have the upper hand. From top to bottom, the Cardinals are a much more dangerous offensive club, and they have been swinging it better than the Pirates to date. Throw on top of that a dangerous bullpen anchored by flamethrower Jordan Hicks, and I think the Cardinals will be able to edge this one out for another victory. For my money, I am taking the Cardinals at +101.