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Series Preview: Cardinals at Pirates

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Cincinnati Reds v St Louis Cardinals Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images

Surprise!

Alright, a sudden return of the series preview isn’t a huge deal, but the Pirates are kinda good and very exciting.

It’s a bit awkward to see the Cardinals’ and Pirates’ identical 56-53 records, both seven games back of the first-place Cubs in the NL Central and four back of the second wild card spot, given the contrasting stories around the two teams over the last month or so.

The Cardinals jettisoned Mike Matheny (bad news if you root against the Cardinals, really) and, at the trade deadline, shipped Tommy Pham to the Rays (good news if you root against the Cardinals). The Pham trade highlighted a slew of mostly smaller moves, which especially shook up St. Louis’ beleaguered bullpen.

The Cardinals are 9-7 in the Mike Shildt era, having taken three of four from the Rockies this week, winning twice on walk-offs.

Season Series: 5-5 split

At Pittsburgh

April 27: Pirates 6, Cardinals 5, 11 innings

April 28: Pirates 6, Cardinals 2

April 29: Pirates 5, Cardinals 0

At Pittsburgh

May 25: Pirates 8, Cardinals 1

May 26: Cardinals 4, Pirates 1

May 27: Cardinals 6, Pirates 4

At St. Louis

May 31: Cardinals 10, Pirates 8

June 1: Pirates 4, Cardinals 0

June 2: Cardinals 3, Pirates 2

June 3: Cardinals 5, Pirates 0

Schedule

Friday, 7:05 p.m. — John Gant (3-4, 3.49 ERA) vs. Chris Archer (3-5, 4.31); TV: AT&T SportsNet

Saturday, 7:05 p.m. — Austin Gomber (1-0, 3.22) vs. Ivan Nova (6-6, 4.33); TV: AT&T SportsNet

Sunday, 1:35 p.m. — Jack Flaherty (4-6, 3.49) vs. Trevor Williams (9-7, 3.89); TV: AT&T SportsNet

Cardinals

56-53 (56-53 Pythag, 4.45 RS/G, 4.29 RA/G)

Offense

It feels a little easy to overlook the excellence of Matt Carpenter (.276/.388/.572, 26 HR), at least on the field. He’s getting plenty of credit for his salsa. Harrison Bader (.275/.345/.412, 6 HR) adds strong defensive value, sitting third among Cardinals position players in fWAR (1.9). He stands to see more playing time in the absence of Tommy Pham. Pirate killer Kolten Wong (.216/.305/.359, 7 HR) is expected to be activated from the disabled list (knee inflammation) on Friday.

Pitching

Jack Flaherty (11.06 K/9, 3.19 BB/9, 3.49 ERA, 4.05 FIP, 3.51 xFIP, .269 BABIP) continues to shine with the help of a little luck. Instead of going through it all here, just go and check out who is left in the Cards bullpen.

Poll

How many games will the Pirates win this weekend?

This poll is closed

  • 32%
    3
    (104 votes)
  • 52%
    2
    (167 votes)
  • 9%
    1
    (29 votes)
  • 5%
    0
    (16 votes)
316 votes total Vote Now