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Series Preview: Cardinals at Pirates

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MLB: New York Mets at St. Louis Cardinals Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

The Pirates (14-11) open a tough portion of their early schedule with their first series of the season against the Cardinals. They’ll face them for three games before visiting Washington and Milwaukee.

St. Louis has come out of the gate rather strong, and has won 10 of its last 12. The Cardinals took two of three from the Mets at home this week, including a 4-3, 13-inning victory Thursday afternoon.

Schedule

Friday, 7:05 p.m. — Miles Mikolas (3-0, 3.46 ERA) vs. Steven Brault (2-1, 4.44); TV: AT&T SportsNet

Saturday, 7:05 p.m. Jack Flaherty (0-0, 1.80) vs. Trevor Williams (3-1, 2.15); TV: AT&T SportsNet

Sunday, 1:35 p.m. — Luke Weaver (2-1, 4.85) vs. Nick Kingham (0-0, 0.00); TV: AT&T SportsNet, MLB Network (out of market)

Cardinals

15-9 (16-8 Pythag, 4.96 RS/G, 3.50 RA/G)

Offense

Tommy Pham (.343/.471/.514) is a likable Cardinal. Don’t @ me. Paul DeJong (7 HR) and Yadier Molina (6) have brought their big, fat wiffle ball bats out this year. Jose Martinez (.318/.392/.494) is out to be more than a one-year St. Louis wonder. Marcell Ozuna (.233/.255/.322) has not fared as well in his early days with the Cardinals.

Pitching

A Pirate for 35 days during the 2013-14 offseason, Miles Mikolas found something in three seasons with the Yomiuri Giants and inked a two-year, $15 million deal to come back to the states last offseason. He’s limited his walks in a strong start to the year. Jack Flaherty struck out nine and walked one in a five-inning start against the Brewers on April 3. He’s struck out 22 and walked three with Triple-A Memphis since then, and he’ll be back for his second start with the big club Saturday. Luke Weaver just feels like your standard good, young Cardinals pitcher. Another recent signee, Luke Gregerson recently came off the disabled list after dealing with a hamstring injury. Jordan Hicks is averaging 99.0 MPH on his fastball, but it hasn’t been going over the plate.

Outlook

This series itself isn’t the end of the world, but a string of losses against three teams that are good, or on their way to being that, could change the course of the Pirates’ season — or at least the way we perceive it. Banking a couple wins this weekend would be especially nice.

Poll

How does this series go?

This poll is closed

  • 6%
    Pirates sweep!
    (36 votes)
  • 29%
    2-1 Pirates
    (155 votes)
  • 47%
    2-1 Cardinals
    (251 votes)
  • 16%
    Cardinals sweep.
    (85 votes)
527 votes total Vote Now