Pirates vs. Cardinals odds, prediction, preview

It sounds funky to say that a 24-34 team that is 8.5 games back in both the divisional and wild card race is a pleasant surprise, but such were the expectations for the Pittsburgh Pirates coming into the 2022 MLB Season. The Pirates entered Opening Day with the second-lowest win total (64) in the MLB, and even though they’re currently riding a six-game losing streak, Pittsburgh is still on pace to go over their total.

The Pirates will look to get off the schneid on Monday night against the St. Louis Cardinals. As expected, the Cards are robust -190 home favorites despite playing behind a rookie pitcher who made his MLB debut 10 days ago. The game will start at 7:45 p.m. ET.

Pirates vs. Cardinals odds

Odds provided by BetMGM

Spread: PIT +1.5 (-120) vs. STL -1.5 (+100)

Moneyline: PIT (+155) vs. STL (-190)

Total: Over 9.5 (+100) | Under 9.5 (-120)

Pirates vs. Cardinals probable pitchers

Mitch Keller (2-5, 5.26) vs. Zack Thompson (0-0, 2.25)

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Pirates Cardinals MLB best bets
The Cardinals’ Tommy Edman steals a base against the Pittsburgh Pirates
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Pirates vs. Cardinals preview, prediction

With just four innings under his belt at the MLB level, it’s of no use to try and handicap how Zack Thompson will perform in a one-game sample. The better way to approach this matchup is to accept that Thompson’s start is more likely than not to lead to some variance and that is usually good news for the underdog. 

Additionally, we can expect the Cardinals bullpen to do some heavy lifting in this one. The Cards’ relief core ranks 14th in the MLB with a 3.90 ERA and 20th with a 1.31 WHIP. The good news for St. Louis is that the ‘pen should be fresh after the Cards only needed two innings from their relievers on Sunday.

On the other side of the diamond will stand Mitch Keller and his 5.26 ERA. While that looks like an ugly predicament for the Pirates, it’s not like Keller will have to be dominant to keep Pittsburgh in this one. The pitching matchup is up for grabs and the Cardinals are just slightly above average when it comes to hitting right-handers in 2022. 

And even though Keller’s surface-level numbers are not pretty, his xERA sits at 4.15 and his xFIP checks in at 4.52, so he should have some positive regression coming his way as we move forward. 


Betting on the 2022 MLB Season?


Things aren’t much rosier for the Pirates offensively — they rank 28th in wRC+ and wOBA — but this pitching set-up should give them enough scoring opportunities to stay with a Cardinals offense that grades out pretty close to average.

With a pitching matchup that should suit them — or at the very least give their offense a chance — the Pirates tick many boxes for an underdog play. Sean Zerillo’s Action Network MLB Model makes the Pirates a +138 underdog on Monday night, so even though it’s a wager you lose more often than you win, the Bucs are well worth a bet at the current prices.

Pirates vs. Cardinals pick

Pittsburgh Pirates +155 (BetMGM)