Cardinals vs. Pirates, 6:35 ET
Sometimes there are trends or splits with pitchers that you just have to take. There is more than enough data on them at this point to see some guys pitch better at home, some pitch better on the road, etc. Still, when you break down game-by-game you might find that stats could be skewed, or that it was the result of one bad game.
In the case of Miles Mikolas, it is pretty clear that the Cardinals starter just isn’t as good on the road as he is at home. That isn’t to say he isn’t capable of turning in a good road start. Last month, he did have one really good start against the Diamondbacks, and another quality start against the Cubs. But, he also allowed four earned in 4.1 innings against the Reds, and 10 in 2.2 innings against the Rockies. The Rockies game clearly gave him an increased road ERA, but we are still talking about it being higher by almost two runs each game. Will Mikolas build off of the great home start he had to start this month? It was a home start, but he allowed just two hits against the Cubs. Overall against the NL Central, Mikolas has been good. There are a few small stumbles, but against Pittsburgh, he has been very good in the two outings.
Roansy Contreras has been pretty good for the Pirates on the year with a 3.41 ERA. OVer his last four starts, he has allowed seven earned runs over 24 innings. His last start against Toronto was very solid as well, he went six innings and allowed just one earned run while scattering four hits. He’s not fared quite as well against the Cardinals on the year – in one start, two total appearances, he has allowed five earned runs over six innings. Still, in most games that Contreras has started this year, the Pirates have a chance to win the game or stay in the competition.
Mikolas should be able to handle the Pirates, and Contreras through five innings shouldn’t allow too many runs. At least through three innings, he shouldn’t allow a run. That means we would need to just survive the last two innings of the first five to be under 4 runs. I’ll play it that way and hope the Cardinals don’t break out the bats too early. Play under 4 at -110 through five innings.
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