Series Preview: Cardinals @ Pirates


Hello and welcome to the series preview for this week’s Pirates and Cardinals series. I believe Jason Rollison, editor for (FanSided’s Pittsburgh Pirates site) sums it up best for both teams “Tonight begins the biggest series of the year (and this time we mean it).” This is absolutely true, so let’s go ahead and take a look at the series ahead.

Setting the Scene

The Cardinals (98-58) currently hold a three game lead on the Pirates (95-61), and have a magic number of four with just six games remaining. The season record for these two teams stands at an even 8-8 through 16 games this season, with each team only having three wins on the road.

More from St Louis Cardinals News

After a series split with the Milwaukee Brewers, the Cardinals hold a record of 6-4 in their last ten games played. Whereas the Pirates are coming off a series win over the Chicago Cubs have a record of 8-2 in their last ten games, with last night’s loss ending an eight game win streak.

Series Probables

Monday: Lance Lynn (12-10, 3.16 ERA) vs. J. A. Happ (6-2, 2.28 ERA) 6:05 PM

Tuesday: Michael Wacha (17-6, 3.15 ERA) vs. Charlie Morton (9-8, 4.54 ERA) 6:05 PM

Wednesday: Tyler Lyons (2-1, 3.96 ERA) vs. Gerrit Cole (18-8, 2.60 ERA) 6:05 PM

Who’s Hot

OF/1B Stephen Piscotty

Piscotty has been the best hitter on the team in the second half and has continued this pace over the past ten games, hitting .297 with three home runs, two doubles, and nine RBI (Runs Batted In). Two of those home runs and six of the RBI came in the Milwaukee series, so Piscotty is coming into this series hot. This will be Piscotty’s first series in Pittsburgh. In six games against the Pirates this season, Piscotty has seven hits including two doubles.

3B Matt Carpenter

Carpenter has had a really good month, with a line of .293/.364/.626 to go along with seven home runs, ten doubles, and 14 RBI. These are great numbers. It has been a very interesting season for Carpenter who has a shot at being a 30 home run hitter this year, after having 0 during a frustrating month of June.

SS Jhonny Peralta

Peralta may not seem like a hot candidate. However, when you take a look at his dismal second half numbers. It is nice to see him getting hits in six of his last ten games with one home run, one double, and six RBI, resulting in a slash of .303/.378/.424.


Tonight’s game will be extremely important for the Cardinals. Coming off of yesterday’s rough game, it is important that the team rebounds tonight.

Lance Lynn has really struggled against the Pirates this season, he has a record of 0-2 with an ERA of 6.94 over 11.2 innings. With Lynn’s solid start against the Reds last week, hopefully he has put aside issues of control behind him. With the injury to Carlos Martinez, it is imperative that Lynn continues to build momentum as we head into the postseason, as there will be no other option than to use him as a part of the postseason rotation.

The same could be said for Michael Wacha, who starts tomorrow night’s game. Wacha has not looked very sharp in his last few starts as his walks have been piling up lately with 14 over his last four games.

If the team can come away with a win tonight, the pressure will be squarely on the Pirates as one more loss in the series would concede the division.This is a big series for both teams, and I believe that this series is big for many different reasons. This is a chance for the Cardinals to prove that they won’t back down, a chance for them to establish their claim to the title, and a chance for the team to feel confident against a potential postseason opponent.

What are your thoughts on this series? Let me know in the comments!