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Pirates Vs Odds Cardinals, prediction, MLB picks today

After a half-decent start to the season, the Pittsburgh Pirates have crashed to earth over the past two weeks. Losers of nine in a row, the Bucs are now 24-37, and their -103 run differential is the worst mark in the majors.

Even if Pittsburgh’s season isn’t heading anywhere fast, there have been some bright spots for the Bucs in their first 61 games, and perhaps none brighter than what they’ve seen in 22-year-old right-hander Roansy Contreras.

Though he’s only pitched 28 innings this season (and 31 in his MLB career), Contreras appears to be headed in the right direction. The former Yankees prospect has posted a 2.67 ERA, 1.18 WHIP, 3.30 xFIP and strikes out 10.6 batters per nine innings.

Pirates odds vs. cardinals

Odds provided by BetMGM

spread: PIT +.1.5 (-135) vs. STL -1.5 (+110)

money line: PIT (+145) vs. STL (-175)

Total: More than 8.5 (-120) | Less than 8.5 (+100)

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Pirates vs Cardinals Prediction

Pittsburgh may not win many more games the rest of this season, but if Contreras continues like this, he’ll give the Bucs chances against any lineup. And even though they’re underdogs against the first-place St. Louis Cardinals, this should be a decent opportunity for the Pirates to get out of the schneid.

Jack Flaherty will make his season debut with the Cardinals after missing the first two months of the season with a shoulder injury. Not too long ago, Flaherty seemed sure to step into the Cardinals’ ace role, but things have gone off the rails a bit for the 26-year-old since the shortened season in 2020.

Over his last 118.2 innings, Flaherty has pitched to a 3.79 ERA and 3.78 xFIP, which are decent numbers but not what everyone expected from Flaherty when he hit his prime. Additionally, Flaherty has struggled to keep the ball in the park, allowing 1.37 home runs per nine innings over his past two injury-plagued seasons.

In short, we don’t know what to expect from Flaherty in his first MLB start to the season. In all likelihood, Flaherty will start to resemble his old self if he stays healthy, but it will take some time for him to get there.


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And against a live arm like Contreras, Flaherty’s margin for error will be relatively small, which is not what you want for a pitcher trying to find his groove after eight months on the shelf.

The Pirates don’t really inspire much confidence, but this pitching matchup should give them a chance to spring an upset. But rather than risk the Pittsburgh bullpen capitulating and defeating Contreras, look at the First 5 Inning money line and hope Contreras can get the better of Flaherty in his season debut.

MLB picks today

Pirates F5 ML (+145) — BetMGM Sports Betting

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