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The St. Louis Cardinals and Pittsburgh Pirates are playing baseball again - A series preview

Only a few games left, nine of them against the Pirates.

Pittsburgh Pirates v St. Louis Cardinals Photo by Joe Puetz/Getty Images

The St. Louis Cardinals have 24 games left in their season and nine of them are against the Pittsburgh Pirates — six of those being the final six games of the season. The Cardinals are eight games ahead of the second-place Milwaukee Brewers making their elimination number 17. The Pirates are not having a great season this year — these games against the Pirates could be a good opportunity for the Cardinals to get that elimination number closer to zero.

The Pirates will be throwing three pitchers we have discussed before — JT Brubaker, Mitch Keller, and Roansy Contreras. On Friday Contreras takes the mound. He is the Pirates number 5 prospect. As I mentioned in my previous previews he throws a good 4-seam fastball with a lot of rise at about 96 miles per hour and will follow that up with a pretty good slider — it has a Wiff% of over 44% — and then occasionally will hang a curveball. In his 74 innings he has a 3.41 and 4.40 FIP with a 22% strikeout rate and 10.4% walk rate.

JT Brubaker faces the Cardinals on Saturday. He primarily throws a sinker and a slider with an occasional curveball. The sinker is a change from 2021 when he threw a 4-seam fastball the most. He has mostly eliminated the 4-seamer, which looks like a pretty successful switch for him as his sinker is now his best pitch. His homeruns have dropped off a lot since the switch too. This season his home run/fly ball percentage dropped from over 22% to 10.9%. He has also been able to lower his ERA this season to 4.35 and his FIP to 3.71.

The last pitcher in the series is Mitch Keller. He mostly throws a 4-seamer up in the zone with a slider low and away to righties and then throws a sinker, curveball, and changeup the remainder of the time. He has a 4.22 ERA to a 3.93 FIP.

Not much has changed since the last preview I wrote. The Pirates are second to last in the league in offense with an 80 wRC+. The best player this season for the Pirates has still been third baseman Ke’Bryan Hayes due to his phenomenal defense. The best hitter on the team has still been Bryan Reynolds with a 117 wRC+

Friday, September 9 at 5:35 pm CDT: Miles Mikolas vs. Roansy Contreras
Saturday, September 10 at 6:35 pm CDT: Jack Flaherty vs. JT Brubaker
Sunday, September 11 at 12:35 pm CDT: Jose Quintana vs. Mitch Keller