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July 5, 2016

There is one pick tonight.

Take St. Louis Cardinals (-140) on the ML against Pittsburgh Pirates risking 4.2% to win 3%.
(Leake and Brault must both start for wager to have action)

Tonight's matchup is a situation that we feel lends itself strongly for the Cardinals. Not only are they coming off a home loss last night, but they will also be facing a pitcher who will be making a spot start on short notice in what will be his Major League debut! Jameson Taillon was scheduled to get the call in this matchup; however he was placed on the DL with shoulder fatigue, so Steven Brault will be taking the short notice trip to the mound. Not only do we expect nerves to play a role for the youngster and he also has to contend with a third string starter at the catcher position. Both Francisco Cervelli and Chris Stewart are currently out injured which means Eric Fryer will be getting the start behind home plate! While that may not seem like a big deal to most, the catcher plays arguably the most important role for a pitcher as they are the ones who recommend the pitch selection and review the scouting reports. To not have the number one, or even #2 option reduces the Bucs’ chance of a victory.

Meanwhile, St. Louis' Mike Leake is a veteran and is extremely familiar with this Pirates lineup. Dating back to his time with the Cincinnati Reds, Leake is 9-4 with a 3.46 ERA and WHIP of 1.224 against Pittsburgh. It's worth mentioning that Leake has shown his proficiency at the plate over the years and is one of the few pitchers in the league who is dangerous with a bat in his hands, which is another advantage for the Cards tonight. For the Pirates, reliever Neftali Feliz has pitched in 3 consecutive days and is unlikely to be available from the bullpen tonight.

Having dropped the opener of this series, we expect Mike Matheny's squad to even up the series at Busch Stadium in front of over 40,000 passionate fans! This is a team that has shown their mettle and often bounces back strong after a loss. This is a reasonable price to back a team that has strong advantages both on the mound and at the plate tonight.

Other notable facts to consider:

  • Cardinals have won 13 of their last 16 division games!
  • Cardinals are 22-16 after a loss this season and 107-70 over the last 3 years!
  • Cardinals are 20-6 off an upset loss as a favorite to a division rival over the last 2 seasons!

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