The St. Louis Cardinals have struggled mightily and are having the worst month of June out of any team in baseball. The one ball club that may be just as bad recently is indeed, the Pittsburgh Pirates. St. Louis fans have not enjoyed this past month and will be ready for their team to get back on track. The Cardinals host Pirates as both teams desperate for wins.
The Pirates head out of Chicago after two games facing the White Sox, where they went 1-1. Pittsburgh has had a rough stretch in June, having lost 10 games in a row at one point. They haven’t been able to find the offensive fire-power and need their lineup to step up in order to win.
The Cardinals are in a similar boat as the Pirates. They have the worst winning percentage in June and have the second most games scoring under 2 runs, right above the Pirates. The St. Louis squad has not pieced together any hits or innings that have ignited their offense in many, many games.
If these two squads play as they have recently, this will be a low-scoring series. The Cardinals have dropped to fourth in the NL Central but are only 5 games out of first. The hot start for the redbirds has kept them in the mix. The Pirates season is not looking so bright, as they are last in the division and 14 games out of first.
The Cardinals Must Get On Base, and In The Same Inning!
St. Louis’s problem has been that they aren’t getting hits in the same innings. The top guys seem to always spread out their hits in different innings, which has been shown by how many runs they have scored. The bats will hopefully get going back at Busch Stadium for a four-game showdown versus the Pirates.
Nolan Arenado launched a home run in Wednesday afternoon’s game. That was his only hit in the series against the Tigers. Edman, Carlson, Goldschmidt, and O’Neil all posted a hit in the same game, but it didn’t matter because they were all sporadic. The energy and the feeling of playing at home should give the bats some momentum and score some runs in bunches.
The pitching has not been great either. Johan Oviedo and John Gant were the starters in the series against Detroit, and neither surpassed 4 innings of work. The bullpen was put to work, and the Tigers unloaded 8 runs and then 6 runs over the two games. The Cardinals have had issues with walks, wild pitches, etc., on defense and will need to change that in this series.
The Pirates Are Worse Than Detroit, But Can the Cardinals Take Advantage?
Pittsburgh has been terrible all year with a record of 26-46, good for the fourth-worst record in the league. They’re last in the league in runs scored per game and haven’t had any sign of changing that around.
The top of the order for the Pirates has been solid all year with Adam Frazier batting .324, Ke’Bryan Hayes at .271, Colin Moran posting a .273 average, and Bryan Reynolds slashing .306. The rest of the lineup has been horrendous and has not helped the team at all offensively. Pittsburgh is dead last in home runs with just 52 on the year. The Cardinal’s pitching staff should be ready as they face the lackluster Pirates lineup.
The pitching for Pittsburgh has been better than the offense, but still not great. They are in the 20th range for all major statistical categories. JT Brubaker has been their best hurler with a 4-6 record. That just shows how tough of a year this Pirates team has had. They will give their all in this series, as they always do against their division buddy Cardinals.
Pitcher Probables and Prediction
Thursday, June 24th: Carlos Martinez vs Chad Kuhl
The first game of this series features two pitchers that haven’t had their way in the first half of the season. Chad Kuhl owns a 1-4 record and a 5.66 ERA. Carlos Martinez has a few more starts and holds a 3-8 record to go with a 6.62 ERA. I expect the bats to get going for the redbirds and Carlos Martinez pitches a quality start after a rough few outings. Cardinals win 8-4.
Friday, June 25th: Kwang Hyun Kim vs Wil Crowe
Both pitchers in the second game of the series don’t have records to boast about either. Kwang Hyun Kim is 1-5 but has a solid ERA of 3.60. Wil Crowe is 0-4 on the year with a 6.42 ERA. I’ll stick with the Cardinals once again in this game, as they will have lots of momentum from Thursday’s contest. Cardinals win 5-2.
Saturday, June 26th: Adam Wainwright vs JT Brubaker
Adam Wainwright jumps onto the bump for a Saturday afternoon game. He has a 5-5 record with a 3.74 ERA. JT Brubaker is his opponent, who holds a 4-6 record and a 3.77 ERA. This game will be the closest game of the series, but I think the Pirates will take this game. Pirates will win 4-3 in a tight battle throughout.
Sunday, June 27th: Johan Oviedo vs TBD
The Pirates have not announced the pitcher for this game, but the Cardinals are sending Johan Oveido to the mound. He did not have the greatest outing against the Pirates, so I think he will bounce back in this one and pitch a masterpiece. The Cardinals will take the final game with a score of 7-1 and give them some momentum as the MLB approaches the all-star break.