Pirates PlayoffsPittsburgh Pirates vs. St. Louis Cardinals NLDS Game 1 Free MLB Pick: The de facto NL Central Championship Series gets started on Thursday night in the Gateway to the West, as the divisional series start with Game 1 between the Pittsburgh Pirates and the St. Louis Cardinals. We have our MLB baseball picks for the playoffs all set and ready to go in this one, and we think that we have all of the answers to guide you to victory!

The Pirates are the slight +145 underdogs on Thursday evening in their first road playoff game since Sid Bream came sliding into home plate to give the NL title to the Atlanta Braves. The ‘total’ for Game 1 is set at just 6.5.

Pirates vs. Cardinals Game Time: 5:00 p.m. ET
Pirates vs. Cardinals Live TV Coverage: TBS
MLB Odds at Carbon Sportsbook ($300 Deposit Bonus): Pirates +145 / Cardinals -150 (Total: 6.5)

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This isn’t the friendliest pitching matchup in the world on paper for the Pirates. They’re using a sub-.500 pitcher in RHP AJ Burnett, and the truth of the matter is that the team only went 14-16 in his 30 starts this year. However, Burnett had very little in the way of run support, and when you look at his 3.30 ERA and 1.21 WHIP, you have to wonder why in the heck this team didn’t capture more ‘W’s for him, especially after winning nearly 100 games in the regular season. On the flip side of the coin, you have RHP Adam Wainwright, a man that has had all sorts of success in the playoffs as both a starter and as a reliever. Wainwright was the rock of the staff for Manager Mike Matheny, and the team went 23-11 in his 34 outings. Wainwright went 19-9 with a 2.94 ERA, but he didn’t always have all this great success against Pittsburgh. In three starts against the Bucs this year, Wainwright allowed no runs in seven innings, three runs in seven innings, and four runs, three of which were earned in seven innings. If this is the way that he is going to pitch in the playoffs against this team, that might not be good enough. We like the continuation of “Buctober” for the boys from the Steel City, as they’ll steal this one and take home field advantage right away from the Cardinals.

Game 1 Pirates vs. Cardinals Free Pick for October 3rd: Pittsburgh Pirates +145


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