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Cardinals should destroy the Pirates

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A series preview

MLB: Milwaukee Brewers at St. Louis Cardinals Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

It rained a lot yesterday, and the bullpen almost gave back the game, but the St. Louis Cardinals did finish off a sweep of the Milwaukee Brewers. As they enter the series against the Pirates, the Cardinals are 43-38, just one game back of the Mets in the Wild Card race. The Pirates are still holding their own after going through a rough patch, and currently sit at .500 on the season. The Cardinals should destroy the Pirates.

This is normally the part of the post where I provide updates on the Pirates players and how they’ve been doing, but seeing as it is the 4th of July, I believe neither you nor I should have to work too hard writing and reading, respectively. As a result, I will first provide a few links to the last three Pirates previews for some general information on the Pirates.

This series preview is from June 10 ahead of a Cardinals sweep.

This series preview from May 6 occurred before the Pirates took two of three from the Cardinals.

This series preview opened the season, when the Pirates swept the Cardinals.

Also of note, Francisco Cervelli is on the disabled list due to the injury he suffered in the last Cardinals series. The Pirates also claimed former Cardinal Eric Fryer off waivers.

This week’s series is a four-game affair. Today’s game puts Jon Niese on the mound for the Pirates against Carlos Martinez. Niese is a lefty who has pitched poorly this season and in two starts against the Cardinals has managed 10.1 innings and given up 13 runs with three homers despite striking out 12 against two walks.

Tomorrow’s game will see Jameson Taillon face off against Mike Leake. Taillon is a rookie who very recently was once one of the games top prospects, but missed the past two seasons with recovery from Tommy John surgery followed by a hernia. I wrote about him for FanGraphs if you want a bit more information on him. He’s been solid so far this season, rarely walking batters and pitched six strong innings his last time out against the Mariners with six strikeouts, no walks and just one run.

On Wednesday Jeff Locke will face Jaime Garcia. Like Niese, Locke is a lefty who is not very good relative to his peers. As of this writing, MLB has not confirmed the Pirates starter for Thursday. ESPN lists Chad Kuhl as the Pirates starter. Kuhl is a 23-year-old righty who has made two starts for the Pirates this year. In those starts, he has struck out seven with four walks and five runs in 11 innings. He was not highly regarded as a prospect given his lack of swing and miss stuff in the minors. He does have a fourseam fastball he throws in the mid-90s along with a sinker, a slider, and a rare change.

Today’s game is at 1:15 pm CT and airs on FOX Sports Midwest.

Tuesday’s game is at 7:09 pm CT and airs on FOX Sports Midwest and ESPN.

Wednesday’s game is at 7:15 pm CT and airs on FOX Sports Midwest.

Thursday’s game is at 12:45 pm CT and airs on FOX Sports Midwest and MLB Network out of market.

Have a great day.