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The St. Louis Cardinals are playing the Pittsburgh Pirates again

A series preview

Pittsburgh Pirates v St. Louis Cardinals Photo by Scott Kane/Getty Images

The St. Louis Cardinals are headed to Pittsburgh to play another series against the Pirates. In the previous series these two teams played the Cardinals took two of four, but would go on to drop the next six series they play. They head into this series a more revitalized team while Pittsburgh has fallen off just a bit — after going 19-9 in April they went 8-18 in May. Let’s see if these fortunes continue this series.

In this series the Cardinals will face Roansy Contreras, Luis Ortiz, and Rich Hill. Surprisingly, the Cardinals only faced Contreras in their previous four-game matchup against the Pirates. The Cardinals happened to miss Hill’s turn last time and Vince Velasquez is on the 15 day Injured List while Ortiz appears to be filling in for him.

Ortiz is the Pirates number 8 prospect. He made his debut in 2022 and has only pitched 36 big league innings so far. He throws a slider, four-seamer, and sinker with the occasional changeup. His fastballs come in over 96 mph with his sinker being his best pitch so far. He seems to have some struggle with command of his pitches in the majors. He has walked 11.5% of batters and has a 1.31 HR/9 rate.

In contrast to the inexperienced youngster with a big fastball on Saturday, the Cardinals face the soft-tossing veteran lefty Rich Hill on Sunday. Not much Rich Hill throws should be a surprise — Hill has been pitching the league for 19 seasons now. He has four pitches he tends to use, though he has thrown up to seven different ones. He mostly throws a curveball and four-seam fastball, but will mix in a cutter and sweeper from time to time. At 87.8 mph his fastball ranks at the bottom of baseball in velocity. He has been a serviceable fifth starter for the Pirates with a 4.76 ERA and 4.33 FIP.

As a team the Pirates offense has a 99 wRC+ and is led by outfielder Jack Suwinski with a 132. He is slashing .240/.352/.507 and has hit 11 home runs. The other top hitters have been Connor Joe, Andrew McCutchen, and Bryan Reynolds, who Devin profiled earlier today.

Though the Cardinals have the worse record, their Pythag record is almost the same as the Pirates at 29-28 versus the Pirates 28-27. The Cardinals have been streaky and the Pirates have been trending down. Let’s see how this plays out.


Friday, June 2 at 6:05 pm CT: Jack Flaherty vs. Roansy Contreras
Saturday, June 3 at 3:05 pm CT: TBD vs. Luis Ortiz
Sunday, June 4 at 10:35 pm CT: TBD vs. Rich Hill