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Coach Fletcher’s Monday MLB Free Play

4:05 pm St. Louis at Pittsburgh

The Pick Pirates -137

Pirates Keep Chipping Away at Cardinals

Three games separate these teams as we head to the end of the regular season.

The Pitchers

Lynn, Cardinals

Lynn is 12-10 with a 3.16 era on the season. In Lynn’s last start he threw 6 shutout innings. Lynn is 5-5 on the road with a 3.43 era. He’s 1-1 with a 3.52 era over his last 3 games. The consistent Lynn was 3-3 with a 3.86 era over his last 7 and 7-6 with a 3.60 era in his last 15. He’s been touched up for 6 runs in his last 15 1/3 innings. What is more concerning to Cards fans is his record against the Pirates. Lynn is 5-6 lifetime with a 5.34 era. In his last start against the Pirates Lynn didn’t even make it out of the first inning, giving up 6 hits and 7 runs, 3 earned, in 2/3 of an inning. In his last start at Pittsburg Lynn was rocked for 5 runs and 9 hits in 4 innings.

Happ, Pirates

Happ is one of the feel good stories of the year in baseball. Happ was not effective when pitching for the Seattle Mariners this year. But once traded to the Bucs, he became a new man. Happ has improved to 10-8 with a 3.91 era. In his last 7 starts Happ is 6-1 with a 1.73 era. He’s pitched 41 2/3 innings and given up only 7 walks while fanning 45. He’s given up 2 bombs. At home he’s 4-4 with a 3.06 era overall. In his last 3 starts Happ is 2-1 with a 3.71 era. Don’t be concerned when someone tells you that Happ is 2-8 with a 6.00 era against the Cards. He’s had one start against them since 2012, that came in early September. Happ held the Cards scoreless on 3 hits in 7 innings.

The Bullpens

Cardinals – 2.98 era on the road ; 61 saves and 14 blown saves

Pirates – 2.31 era at home ; 54 saves and 13 blown saves

I’m giving the Pirates the edge in starting pitching and the pen.

The Hitters

Cardinals

The Cards score 4.0 runs per game and give up just 3.2. They average 4.2 on the road and 4.0 against LHP. In the past 7 games they have averaged 4.9 runs per game. They average 4.2 at night and just 4.0 in division. Their overall batting average is .255 and they hit .247 on the road. In their last 3 game series, against the Brewers, the Cards averaged 4.0 runs per game.

Pirates

The Pirates average 4.3 runs per game and allow 3.7 runs per game. They average 4.3 at home and 4.4 versus RHP. They’ve averaged 5.7 in their last 7 games. They average 4.4 at night and 4.0 against division. Their overall batting average is .262 and is the same at home. In their last series, playing the Cubs for 3, they averaged 2.33 runs per game.

I’m not concerned about the lack of runs against the Cubs. No one scores off Arrieta.

Odds and Ends

The Cards are 99-57 and the Bucs are 95-61.

The Cards have a plus 0.8 run differential. The Bucs are plus 0.6.

The Cards are 13-15 as road dogs between +100/+150. The Pirates are 16-6 as home favs _125/-150.

The Cards are 44-31 on the road. The Pirates are 50-25 at home.

The Cards are 14-11 in September. The Bucs are 16-11.

The Cards are 45-28 against division. The Bucs are 31-39.

The Cards are 70-39 at night. The Bucs are 66-45.

The Cards are 24-18 vs LHP. The Bucs are 75-47 against RHP.

The Cards are 59-43 against teams w/winning records. The Bucs are 72-45.

Coach’s Conclusion:

Any way you look at it, these are 2 good teams. I like the Pirates because I think they are playing better. The Cards have won 9 of their last 13. 7 of those games were against the Brewers and 3 were against the Reds and the Cubs. They lost 2 of 3 to the Cubs.

The Pirates have won 9 of their last 14. Of those 14, 7 were against the Cubs and 3 were against the Dodgers. They had 4 against the Rockies and won all 4. The Cubs faced Lester twice, Hammel twice and Arrieta twice. They faced Greinke and Kershaw as well. They were 5 and 5 in those contents.

The Cards are 31-28 in this series the last 3 years. This year they have split 16 games. But Pittsburgh is 19-9 against the Cards in Pittsburgh the past 3 years and 5-2 this year. I’m taking the Bucs.

The Pick Pirates -137