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Cards, Pirates open up NL Central set

Francisco Liriano is the probable pitcher for the Pittsburgh Pirates on Friday night as they open up a key MLB betting series at home against the rival St. Louis Cardinals.

Liriano is 14-6 with a 2.74 ERA on the season, with the lefthander picking up a win against the Cardinals on the road back on August 14 after surrendering just one run on four hits over nine innings of work. Liriano fanned six that day.

Shelby Miller gets the ball in front of a hostile crowd for the Cardinals on this day; he's 12-8 on the season.

View St Louis vs Pittsburgh Odds and Stats.

Betting Line:
The Cardinals were listed as +135 underdogs on the baseball moneyline at many online sportsbooks, including 5Dimes. The total was set at 6.5 before betting started earlier on Monday over at Bovada.

Power Rankings:
The Pirates - Cardinals odds would favor the Cardinals if the lines were set according to our power ranks. Pittsburgh is rated No. 6 in the current National League Odds Shark poll, while St. Louis is at No. 1 in the National League.

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How They Match Up:
At the plate, Pittsburgh owns the No. 12 ranking for hits in the National League at 8.4 per game. By contrast, the Cardinals are rated No. 1 in the same category at 9.3 per game.

Defensively, St. Louis features the National League's No. 4-rated defense on the road, allowing 3.9 runs per game. Pittsburgh, meanwhile, comes in at No. 10 in the National League at home, scoring 3.8 runs per game.

The Cardinals were a 10-0 loser in their most recent outing at home against the Reds. That made winners of bettors who got Cincinnati at +127 on the moneyline, while the total score (10) was good news for OVER bettors. St. Louis was scored on plenty on Wednesday, falling behind early and watching runners cross the plate all game in a 10-0 loss to Cincinnati.

Pittsburgh lost its last outing, a 4-0 result against the Brewers on August 29. Bettors who backed the Brewers at +153 on the moneyline won on the day, and the total score (4) sent UNDER bettors to the payout window. The Pirates were shut out in their last start, struggling to get much going against the Milwaukee staff and losing 4-0 to the Brewers on Thursday at PNC Park.

St. Louis Cardinals Trends:
When playing on Friday are 3-7
Before playing Pittsburgh are 3-7
After playing Cincinnati are 6-4
After a loss are 7-3

Pittsburgh Pirates Trends:
When playing on Friday are 7-3
Before playing St. Louis are 6-4
After playing Milwaukee are 7-3
After a loss are 5-5

A few Cardinals at Pirates trends to consider:
St. Louis is 4-1 SU in its last 5 games on the road
St. Louis is 6-2 SU in its last 8 games
The total has gone OVER in 8 of St. Louis' last 11 games on the road
St. Louis is 3-7 SU in its last 10 games when playing Pittsburgh
Pittsburgh is 5-1 SU in its last 6 games when playing at home against St. Louis
The total has gone OVER in 5 of Pittsburgh's last 7 games at home
Pittsburgh is 7-3 SU in its last 10 games when playing St. Louis
Pittsburgh is 14-7 SU in its last 21 games at home

Next up:
St. Louis at Pittsburgh, Saturday, August 31