Two NL Central rivals go head-to-head in the final game of a three-game series. The St. Louis Cardinals continue to struggle as they find themselves in unfamiliar territory, last place. Meanwhile, the Pirates took game one of the series and are chasing the Milwaukee Brewers for first place. Let’s look ahead to the best bet for the Cardinals-Pirates game on Sunday, June 4.
Starting Pitchers: Miles Mikolas & Rich Hill
Miles Mikolas has put together his two best starts of the season back-to-back. The 34-year-old shut out the Kansas City Royals and Cincinnati Reds in 15 combined innings of work. He’s bought down his ERA to a season-low 3.75 after being as high as 6.00 throughout April.
Mikolas faced off against the Pirates when they were surging in April. He allowed two earned runs in 5.2 innings and the Cardinals pulled out an extra innings win. But that was back at home where he has struggled. His road ERA is a solid 2.91 with strong numbers against the bottom of the Pirates’ projected order. Bryan Reynolds and Andrew McCutchen have solid numbers against Mikolas but feel strongly that he can get through them at least two times.
Rich Hill will get the ball for Pittsburgh. The 43-year-old has yet to see the Cardinals this season but has struggled in six home starts. He has a 5.83 ERA and now has to face a St. Louis Cardinals offense that ranks in the top 10 in batting average, slugging, and wRC+ against left-handed pitching.
Paul Goldschmidt, Nolan Arenado, and Wilson Contreras all have quality numbers against Hill and can kick off the scoring parade for St. Louis early. The trio combines for 18 hits in 42 at-bats against the veteran.