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Series Preview: Pirates at Cardinals

MLB: AUG 26 Pirates at White Sox

The Pittsburgh Pirates will be on the road deep into the midwest to make up a pair of games originally scheduled for earlier in the month. Due to COVID-19 complications in the St. Louis Cardinals organization, the August 10-12 series was postponed, with two of those games coming today, August 27, and the third and final game coming on September 18.

After the Pirates earned their first sweep of the season over the weekend against the Brewers, the team headed to the south side of Chicago to take on the White Sox. After an eruption of offense against Milwaukee, the offense fell entirely quiet against Chicago, culminating in a Lucas Giolito no-hitter Tuesday night before the team dropped the second game of the short series, 10-3, falling to 7-19 on the season.

On the other hand, the Cardinals are trying to rapidly make up postponed games with a slew of doubleheaders. They’re making some headway as they attempt to catch up to the rest of the National League Central. The Cardinals are 11-9, which makes them second in the Central division.

The Cardinals’ wRC+ of 94 is 15th in baseball, while the Pirates’ 92 is 19th. The Cards’ .314 wOBA is 19th in baseball, while the Pirates’ .313 is 21st.

On the pitching side, the Cardinals’ 3.82 team ERA ranks fifth in baseball, while the Pirates’ 5.19 is 26th in baseball. St. Louis’ 4.27 FIP departs somewhat from its ERA, and is ranked 11th in baseball. Meanwhile, the Pirates’ 4.78 FIP suggests the pitching has been moderately better than what we’ve seen in terms of on-field results.

The first game of Thursday’s doubleheader is scheduled for 3:15 EDT, with Chad Kuhl the projected starter for the Pirates and Kwang Hyun Kim for the Cardinals. Game two is slated for later that night, with Cody Ponce scheduled to pitch for the Pirates and Johan Oviedo for the Cardinals.

The Pirates and Cardinals haven’t met since the July 24-26 series to open up the season, with Pittsburgh taking the final game but dropping the series.