MLB NLDS Preview: St. Louis Cardinals vs. Pittsburgh Pirates

Pittsburgh won their first postseason game in since 1992. Can they win a series now? Photo: The St. Louis Cardinals take on the Pittsburgh Pirates/AP

CHICAGO, October 3, 2013 — The Cardinals and Pirates played 19 times this year with the Pirates winning the season series 10-9. The Cardinals did, however, win six of the nine games played in St. Louis and will have home field advantage in the series.

Lineup: The Pirates scored 634 runs this year, ninth best in the NL, and had a season slash line of .245/.313/.396 the eight best OPS in the NL. The offense was led by Andrew McCutchen .317/.404/.508, Starling Marte .280/.343/.441 and Jordy Mercer .285/.336/.435. The Cardinals scored 783 runs, best in the NL by 95 runs, and had a season line of .269/.332/.401 and had the second best OPS in the NL. Leading the way, offensively, for St. Louis are Matt Holiday .300/.389/.490, Matt Carpenter .318/.392/.481 and Yadier Molina .319/.359/.477.


SEE RELATED: MLB NLDS Preview: Los Angeles Dodgers vs. Atlanta Braves


Edge: Cardinals

Starting Pitching: Pirates starters posted an ERA of 3.50, fourth in the NL, with a 1.27 WHIP while striking out 809 batters in 925 innings. The staff was led by AJ Burnett 3.30 ERA, 1.21 WHIP and9.85 K/9, Francisco Liriano 3.02 ERA, 1.22 WHIP and 9.11 K/9 and Gerrit Cole 3.22 ERA, 1.17 WHIP and 7.67 K/9. The Cardinals starters posted an ERA of 3.42, second in the NL, while striking out 806, with a 1.25 WHIP. Adam Wainwright 2.94 ERA, 1.07 WHIP and 8.16 K/9, Lance Lynn 3.97 ERA, 1.17 WHIP and 8.84 K/9 and Shelby Miller 3.06 ERA, 1.21 WHIP and 8.78 K/9 lead the staff.

Edge: Push

Bullpen: The Pirates had the second best bullpen ERA in the NL with a 2.89 ERA, while posting a 1.17 WHIP and 419 strikeouts. The bullpen was led by Tony Watson 2.39 ERA, 0.88 WHIP and 6.78 K/9, Mark Melancon 1.39 ERA, 0.96 WHIP and 8.87 K/9 and closer Jason Grilli 2.70 ERA, 1.06 WHIP and 13.32 K/9. The Cardianls had a bullpen ERA of 3.45, eighth in the NL, 1.24 WHIP and 448 strikeouts. Leading the charge from the bullpen were Seth Maness 2.32 ERA, 1.26 WHIP and 5.08 K/9, Trevor Rosenthal 2.63 ERA, 1.10 WHIP and 12.90 K/9 and Edward Mujica 2.78 ERA, 1.01 WHIP and 6.40 K/9.


SEE RELATED: Chicago Cubs fire Dale Sveum as manager


Edge: Pirates

Defense: The Pirates defense had a .984 fielding percentage, allowed .684 stolen base success rate, had a 38.77 range factor and a 5.824 zone rating. The Cardinals posted a .988 fielding percentage, allowed an NL low .600 stolen base success rate, had a 37.59 range factor and a 6.019 zone rating.

Edge: Cardinals

Manager: Clint Hurdle is in his 11th year as managing in MLB, but his third with the Pirates. Hurdle has posted a career .474 winning percentage, but has done a bit better with Pittsburgh posting a .504 winning percentage. This will be the second time a Hurdle led team has made the playoffs following the 2007 Colorado Rockies who made the World Series. Mike Matheny is in his second year as a manager, both with the Cardinals. Matheny has a career .571 winning percentage. Last year Matheny guided the Cards to the NLCS.

Edge: Cardinals

Prediction: Cardinals in 4

 


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Steve Adler

Steve Adler was born and raised in NH in a town called Westmoreland. He currently resides in Chicago, IL with his wife and daughter. He has worked in Commodities and Banking. Steve has been a sports columnist for The Washington Times Communities since July 2013.

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