Pirates at Cardinals: What bettors need to know

Oct 8, 2013 |
Pirates at Cardinals: What bettors need to know
The Over is 13-1-4 in Wainwright's last 18 starts vs. the Pirates.
Photo By - USA Today Sports
The Over is 13-1-4 in Wainwright's last 18 starts vs. the Pirates.
Photo By - USA Today Sports
Pittsburgh Pirates at St. Louis Cardinals (-148, 6.5)

Series tied 2-2.

St. Louis Cardinals manager Mike Matheny gambled and won on his rookie sensation and now gets to play his ace in the highest-stakes game of the season. Matheny will send 19-game winner Adam Wainwright to the mound against the visiting Pittsburgh Pirates on Wednesday in a winner-take-all Game 5 of the National League Division Series. Matheny resisted the urge to pitch Wainwright in Game 4 and was rewarded when 22-year-old Michael Wacha took a no-hitter into the eighth in a 2-1 victory.

Pirates manager Clint Hurdle is rolling the dice with his pitching staff, bypassing Game 1 starter A.J. Burnett in favor of rookie Gerrit Cole, who was outstanding in winning Game 2. Pittsburgh has not captured a postseason series in 34 years and faces the daunting task of winning a deciding game on the road against a team that is 7-1 in playoff elimination games since 2011. The Pirates' only hit in Game 4 came on a home run by Pedro Alvarez, his third of the series.

TV: 8:07 p.m. ET, TBS 

WEATHER: Temperatures in the mid 60s with clear skies and winds blowing SE at 5 mph.

PITCHING MATCHUP: Pirates RH Gerrit Cole (1-0, 1.50 ERA) vs. RH Adam Wainwright (1-0, 1.29)

Cole pitched more like a staff ace than a 23-year-old rookie in Game 2, allowing only one run on two hits in six innings to win his fifth consecutive start. The No. 1 overall pick in the 2011 draft has yielded five runs during his winning streak and has permitted more than five hits only once in his last six outings. He thrived away from Pittsburgh with a 4-2 mark and 2.38 ERA in seven regular-season road starts.

Wainwright was staked to an early seven-run lead and dominated in Game 1, limiting the Pirates to one run on three hits and striking out nine over seven innings. A winner of four straight starts, he stymied Pittsburgh on Sept. 7 in St. Louis, giving up only two hits in seven scoreless frames. Wainwright was 9-6 with a 2.53 ERA and four complete games in 17 home starts while holding hitters to a .217 batting average.


* Over is 13-1-4 in Wainwright's last 18 starts vs. Pirates.
* Over is 4-1 in the last five meetings.
* Over is 33-15-4 in the last 52 meetings in St. Louis.
* Pirates are 2-6 in the last eight meetings.

1. St. Louis was 54-27 at home during the regular season, the second-best record in the majors behind Atlanta.

2. Pirates CF Andrew McCutchen was 12-for-28 against Wainwright during the regular season and 1-for-3 off him in Game 1.

3. Both second baseman are struggling - St. Louis' Matt Carpenter is 1-for-15 and Pittsburgh's Neil Walker is 0-for-16 in the series.

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