St. Louis Cardinals at Pittsburgh Pirates (+108, 8)
The St. Louis Cardinals are flying high and the host Pittsburgh Pirates are spiraling downward entering Tuesday’s second contest of a three-game set. The Cardinals won the opener for their sixth win in seven games to strengthen their position in the National League wild-card race. Meanwhile, the Pirates have dropped six of seven games and are three games behind St. Louis in the wild-card competition. Matt Holliday hit the go-ahead homer in Monday’s game.
The Cardinals hope to get third baseman David Freese (wrist) back after a three-game absence. Holliday leads the National League with 90 RBIs and is 14-for-31 (.452) during an eight-game hitting streak. First baseman Allen Craig is 11-for-23 (.478) with nine RBIs over the last five games. Pittsburgh star Andrew McCutchen had two hits for only his third multi-hit outing in his last 19 games. McCutchen is batting only .245 in August after a torrid July in which he batted .446. His .345 average is second best in the NL, one point behind suspended Melky Cabrera of the San Francisco Giants.TV:
7:05 p.m. ET, FS Midwest (St. Louis), Root Sports (Pittsburgh)PITCHING MATCHUP:
Cardinals RH Jake Westbrook (13-9, 3.67 ERA) vs. Pirates LH James McDonald (11-6, 3.73)
Westbrook has won six of his last seven starts, with the defeat coming against the Pirates when he allowed two runs (one earned) and six hits in 7 2/3 innings on Aug. 17. He beat the Houston Astros in his last outing despite allowing five runs and seven hits in five innings. Westbrook is 1-3 with a 3.71 ERA in four starts against Pittsburgh this season, and has a 1-6 mark and 4.63 ERA in 12 career appearances (eight starts).
McDonald has a 7.29 ERA in eight starts since the All-Star break. He appeared to rediscover his form when he threw six innings of two-hit shutout ball against the Cardinals two starts ago, but then lost to the San Diego Padres in his last outing by giving up four runs and five hits in five innings. McDonald is 3-1 with a 2.76 ERA in nine career appearances (five starts) against the Cardinals.
* Under is 5-0 in the last five meetings in Pittsburgh.
* Under is 4-0 in Westbrooks last four road starts vs. Pirates.
* Cardinals are 5-1 in the last six meetings in Pittsburgh.
* Under is 4-1 in McDonalds last five starts vs. Cardinals.
* Over is 7-2-1 in the last 10 meetings.
* Under is 5-2-1 in Westbrooks last eight starts vs. Pirates.
* Cardinals are 2-6 in Westbrooks last eight starts vs. Pirates.
* Cardinals are 0-4 in Westbrooks last four road starts vs. Pirates.UMP TRENDS - Adrian Johnson
* Over is 6-1-1 in Johnsons last eight games behind home plate.
* Road team is 6-1 in Johnsons last seven games behind home plate vs. Pittsburgh.
1. Pirates 3B Pedro Alvarez is 7-for-11 with a homer against Westbrook this season. He has 16 RBIs against St. Louis this season.
2. Craig is 4-for-10 with a homer and two doubles against McDonald and has a .393 career mark in 28 games against Pittsburgh.
3. Pittsburgh 2B Neil Walker (back) was scratched before the opener and his availability for Tuesday is unknown.