Free MLB Pick: Houston Astros vs. St. Louis Cardinals: August 26th 2009
These two teams square-off for Game Two of their three-game series on Wednesday night at Busch Stadium after the Cardinals took Game One on Tuesday by a score of 1 to 0. Six of the last seven games in this series have fallen below the posted total. Houston has struggled on the road this season with a record of 26-34 (-2.0) scoring 4.3 runs per game with a batting average of .260. Their Achilles Heel has been their bullpen when playing on the road this season with an ERA of 5.01 and a WHIP of 1.626. Houston is ranked 22 in pitching with an ERA of 4.50 with opponents hitting .274 and an OBP of .343. They will send Roy Oswalt to the bump with his road record of 4-2 and an ERA of 4.04 this season. Over his last three outings he is 1-0 with an ERA of 5.50 in those starts. The Cardinals have been much stronger posting a record of 37-24 at home averaging 4.2 runs per game with a batting average of .263. They are ranked 17 in hitting with a batting average of .261 averaging 4.5 runs per game and an OPS of .748. The real strength has been their pitching where they are ranked 3 with an ERA of 3.69 allowing opponents a batting average of .260 and an OBP of .320. St. Louis will send Joel Pineiro to the hill with his 5-4 home record and ERA of 2.41 over his last three outings he has been money going 3-0 with an ERA of 2.95. Pineiro has been solid in the second half of the season, over the last three years he is 11-2 (+10.4) during the month of August and 9-0 (+9.2) during the second half of the season this year. With St. Louis playing at home and with a purpose we will back them here only having to lay short chalk is a bonus, so back the host as they get a Game Two victory on Wednesday night at Busch Stadium.
Graded Selection: 2* St. Louis Cardinals 3 Houston Astros 2