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Series Preview: The Birds and the Bucs

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MLB: Philadelphia Phillies at Pittsburgh Pirates Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

The Cards/Pirates division rivalry heads back to PNC this week for a four-game series in Pittsburgh. Last week, the Cards took the three game series 2-1, outscoring the Buccos 14-8.

While St. Louis is heating up (winning seven out of their last ten), Pittsburgh has been struggling the last two weeks, winners of just three in the last ten games.

Pittsburgh is 23-23 at home and have a 27-44 record against teams with a winning percentage greater than .500.

Schedule

Monday, 7:05 p.m — Trevor Williams (3-3, 5.17 ERA) vs. Daniel Ponce de Leon (1-0, 2.80 ERA) TV: AT&T SportsNet-PIT

Tuesday, 7:05 p.m. — Chris Archer (3-6, 5.36) vs. Dakota Hudson (9-4, 3.57 ERA)
TV: AT&T SportsNet-PIT

Wednesday, 7:05 p.m. — TBD vs. Adam Wainwright (6-7, 4.50 ERA)
TV: AT&T SportsNet-PIT

Thursday, 12:35 p.m. — TBD vs. Miles Mikolas (6-10, 4.17 ERA)
TV: AT&T SportsNet- PIT (MLB Network- out of market)

All games EST

Cardinals Notes

Offense

-Tyler O’Neill and Matt Wieters are leading the Cardinals offense during the last ten games, with wRC+ marks of 192 and 169, respectively. O’Neill is striking out a lot (almost 30% of PAs) but also has four home runs with 12 RBIs. Wieters, in 22 PAs, has an OBP of .409 and an ISO of .316

-Dexter Fowler and Paul DeJong haven’t been performing in their last 30+ PAs, with both posting sub-.200 batting averages. DeJong has two home runs with eight RBIs and crossed the plate seven times in the last nine games. However, he’s had terrible luck on contact, judging by his .154 BABIP. Fowler has managed just one run and one RBI during his last ten games with a dismal 40.5% K-rate.

Pitching

-Daniel Ponce de Leon’s last start was against the Pirates on July 17th, where he failed to make it out of the fifth inning and surrendered four earned runs off eight hits and two walks. Prior to that, de Leon gave up more than two runs just one other time; a long relief outing against the San Diego Padres (5.1 IP, 5 H, 4 ER, 2 BB, 9 K).

-Dakota Hudson is on the bump for the Cards in game two, his second start against the Pirates (third appearance) in 2019. Thus far, he’s pitched 6.2 inning, allowed three earned runs on nine hits, and three walks with just two strikeouts. His last start (in St. Louis) back on May 12th against the Bucs was a no decision.

-Veteran Adam Wainwright starts game three for St. Louis on Wednesday. This is Waino’s third start against the Pirates in 2019, with neither of his previous outings resulting in decisions for the righty. Wainwright has pitched well since early June (no more than 3 ER in a start) until he was shelled by the Reds on the 19th of July (3.1 IP, 9 H, 7 ER). His numbers against the Pirates this season are 11 IP with five earned runs on nine hits along with four walks and 11 strikeouts.

-Staff ace(?) Miles Mikolas closes out the series for the Cards Thursday afternoon. His starts have been up and down lately, giving up less than two ERs in three of his last six starts. His control has been great as he’s walked just five batters through his last seven starts. Mikolas will make his fouth start against the Bucs in 2019, going 1-1 with 18 hits allowed along with just three walks resulting in five earned runs. His last start against the Pirates (at Busch) was a complete game shutout.

Tonight’s first pitch is scheduled for 7:05 EST on ATT SportsNet-PIT.