The Pirates stayed hot yesterday and the win gets us with a little heat heading into today’s play. Wednesday night takes us out to Missouri for an in-state matchup between the St. Louis Cardinals and the Kansas City Royals. It will also be an excellent pitching matchup that has Jason Vargas slated to host Cardinals ace Adam Wainwright. The Cardinals are a -140 road favorite with a total 7.5 with the juice on the under.
The the most part last year, I had a successful run ‘capping Adam Wainwright. His model consistency and excellence just about every time out makes him an appealing back just about every week. But I also specifically remember getting burned a couple times when he got lit up on more than one occasion. It’s unusual. Wainwright is almost always so good, but he seems to have at least three to four starts a year when he gets shelled. Last time out was one of those instances for Waino; and I think he’ll bounce back in a big way against a Kansas City team that has struggled to score this year, last, and the year before. He’s been just about untouchable on the road this season (35 hits in 51 innings pitched and a 1.59 ERA) and will have plenty of motivation after getting touched up in his last outing. He’s the ultimate professional and it will surprise me if he used the last five days for anything else other than personal reflection and a time to recharge his batteries. Wainwright will toss one of his finest games of the season tonight at Kauffman Stadium.
Wainwright’s dominance means that Jason Vargas only has to be O.K. against a Cardinals offense that has been less than stellar as of late. The Birds did score seven last night, but Vargas has also been more than just an average pitcher this season. He helped us hit an easy under two starts ago and turned in an even more impressive performance in his last start against the Blue Jays. Vargas has been just about the only guy (with the exception of Anibal last night) who has tamed the Jays in the last month. And now he gets his shot against the NL’s Birds. I’m not incredibly high on Vargas turning in a great outing. But he won’t need to be great. And his recent track record suggests that shouldn’t be much to ask for.
Free Pick: Under 7.5 (-120)
YTD: 21-14 +4.88