Pirates vs. Cardinals Odds & Picks: Saturday’s First-5 Inning Line Offers Value

Credit:

Carmen Mandato/Getty Images. Pictured: Trevor Williams

  • BJ Cunningham previews Saturday's Pirates vs. Cardinals matchup, complete with betting odds and picks.
  • Find out why there's value on the first 5 innings line and how to bet it.

Pirates vs. Cardinals Odds & Picks

Pirates Odds +140
Cardinals Odds -167
Over/Under 9 (-117/-105)
First Pitch Saturday, 2:15 p.m. ET

Odds via Parx, which offers new customers a 20% profit boost + $500 risk-free wager on their first bet AND your bets automatically sync to the Action app. Learn more about BetSync here.


The second of this three-game series features a lackluster pitching matchup as the Pirates take on Adam Wainwright and the Cardinals on Saturday afternoon.

The Cardinals took the first game, 5-4, after the Pirates almost produced a late-inning rally on Kwang Hyun Kim, but came up just short. Now St. Louis will look to keep its momentum going and try to gain an early lead in the NL Central.

[Bet on Pirates-Cardinals now at Parx and win an extra $50 if there’s a home run in the game]

Pirates Projected Lineup

The Pirates offense, for lack of a better word, stinks.

Outside of Josh Bell, Pittsburgh has no fire power in its lineup. Trading away Starling Marte this offseason was a huge blow and the Pirates didn’t make any moves to replace him.


Advanced Stats Glossary

FIP or Fielding Independent Pitching measures what a pitcher’s ERA would look like if the pitcher experienced league-average defense and luck. xFIP  is a regressed version of FIP that adjusts or “normalizes’ the home run component based on park factors.

wRC+ or Weighted Runs Created Plus takes the statistic Runs Created and adjusts that number to account for critical external factors — like ballpark or era. It’s adjusted, so a wRC+ of 100 is league average, and 150 would be 50 percent above league average.

wOBA or Weighted On-Base Average is a catch-all hitting metric with more predictive value than on-base percentage. An average MLB hitter can be expected to post a .320 wOBA. xwOBA is a regressed version of wOBA that accounts for variables like park factors.


Pirates Probable Stater

Trevor Williams, RHP

Projected Stats (ZIPS) (via Fangraphs)

Pitch Arsenal (via Baseball Savant)

Williams is the definition of an average MLB pitcher. He has a four-pitch arsenal, but none of his pitches are very effective — all four yielded a wOBA of over .340 to opponents in 2019 and also didn’t generate solid whiff rates.

Cardinals Projected Lineup

The biggest loss for the Cardinals this offseason was, without a doubt, Marcell Ozuna (now with the Braves).

The Cardinals aren’t very loaded in the power department, either. Outside of Paul Goldschmidt, they don’t have another consistent home run threat.

St. Louis is in a transition mode of sorts, with main stays like Matt Carpenter, Yadier Molina and Kolten Wong getting up there in age while younger guys like Paul DeJong, Tommy Edman and Tyler O’Neill are being introduced to the lineup.

If the Cardinals are going to challenge for the World Series, they’ll have to drastically outplay their offensive projections.

Cardinals Probable Starter

Adam Wainwright, RHP

Projected Stats (ZIPS) (via Fangraphs)

Pitch Arsenal (via Baseball Savant)

Wainwright is starting to get up there in age. The 38-year-old is predominantly a curveball/sinker pitcher at this point in his career, because his fastball doesn’t have much velocity. His curveball is still working, though — he only allowed a .281 wOBA in 2019, but that was a step back from 2018, when he only allowed a .196 wOBA.

He’ll have to utilize his curveball a lot this season, because the rest of his pitches are average at best.

Pirates & Cardinals Bullpens

The Pirates’ bullpen is filled with a bunch of average-to-below-average guys, so the Cardinals shouldn’t have any issues against them.

The Cardinals are in a similar position. Andrew Miller and Giovanny Gallegos are bonafide front-end bullpen guys who any team would be lucky to have. After those two, it’s a bunch of middle-of-the-road to below-average guys in middle relief.

Pirates-Cardinals Projections & Pick

Based on my projections, I think the Pirates’ First 5 inning moneyline provides some value since Williams rates out better than Wainwright.

Pick: Pirates First 5 Innings (+130)

[Bet on Pirates-Cardinals now at Parx and win an extra $50 if there’s a home run in the game]

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