St. Louis Cardinals' Albert Pujols at the plate during spring training 2022

St. Louis Cardinals’ Albert Pujols bats during a spring training baseball game against the Washington Nationals, Wednesday, March 30, 2022, in West Palm Beach, Fla. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)

  • The Cardinals are -210 home favorites over the Pirates on Thursday
  • Adam Wainwright (17-7, 3.05 in 2021) will pitch for the Cardinals against JT Brubaker (5-13, 5.36)
  • A look at the Pirates vs Cardinals odds and matchup can be found below with a prediction

It figures to be an emotional day at Busch Stadium when the St. Louis Cardinals host the Pittsburgh Pirates at 4:15 p.m. ET Thursday in the season opener for both clubs.

Albert Pujols returns to the Cardinals following a 10-year absence and will be the starting designated hitter. The future Hall of Famer left the St. Louis as a free agent after leading the Cardinals to the World Series title in 2011.

The Cardinals were second in the National League Central last season with a 90-72 record then lost to the Los Angeles Dodgers in the wild card game. The Pirates went 61-101 and finished last in the division.

Pirates vs Cardinals Odds

Team Moneyline Runline Total
Pittsburgh Pirates +170 +1.5 (-130) Over 8 (-106)
St. Louis Cardinals -205 -1.5 (+106) Under 8 (-113)

Odds as of April 6th at Barstool Sportsbook.

 

JT Brubaker (5-13, 5.36 in 2022) gets the ball for the Pirates and will face Adam Wainwright (17-7, 3.05).

The Cardinals have an implied win probability of 67.74% as -210 favorites. It figures to be a windy afternoon in St. Louis as the forecast calls for a high of 54 degrees, a 20% chance of rain and winds from the west at 10-18 mph and gusting up to 30 mph.

Brubaker vs Wainwright

5-13 Record 17-7
5.36 ERA 3.05
4.67 xERA 3.87
1.29 WHIP 1.06
3.39 SO/W 3.48

Pirates Betting Outlook

Despite having a rough 2021 season, Brubaker gets the ball to start the season for the Pirates. He surrendered four runs and eight hits in eight innings during spring training with eight strikeouts and four walks.

Brubaker has struggled mightily against the Cardinals in his three-year career, going 0-4 with a 6.08 ERA in five games, including four starts. At Busch Stadium, he is 0-2 with a 5.27 ERA in three games (two starts).

Getting the opening day nod should excite Brubaker’s mother, though.

Not surprisingly, many Cardinals have hit Brubaker well. Paul DeJong is 3 for 7 off the right-hander with a double and two home runs and all five of Nolan Arenado’s hits in 11 at-bats (.455) have gone for extra bases – four doubles and a homer.

Brubaker has a new batterymate as Roberto Perez was signed as a free agent in the offseason. Perez replaces Jacob Stallings, who was the NL Gold Glove catcher last season then got traded to the Miami Marlins.

Cardinals Betting Outlook

Wainwright had a so-so spring as he allowed five runs on nine hits in 10 innings with seven strikeouts and three walks. However, he has had much success against the Pirates in his long career.

Wainwright is 23-7 with a 3.58 ERA in 49 games, including 43 starts, versus Pittsburgh. He also should be comfortable pitching at home after going 9-5 with a 2.74 ERA in 19 starts last season.

The Pirates’ Kevin Newman has had his struggles against Wainwright, going 3 for 19 (.158). Ben Gamel is 1 for 11 (.091) with four strikeouts.

Wainwright and catcher Yadier Molina will start their 304th career game together. The major league record for most games by a battery is 324 by the Mickey Lolich and Bill Freehan from 1963-75 with the Detroit Tigers.

Pirates vs Cardinals Injury Report

Pirates third baseman Ke’Bryan Hayes (ankle) is listed as day to day but is likely to be in the lineup. He was limited to 96 games last season as a rookie because of a wrist injury.

Left-handed reliever Sam Howard will begin the season on injured list along with right-handers Blake Cederlind (elbow), Max Kranick (forearm), Nick Mears (elbow) and Luis Oviedo (ankle) and outfielders Anthony Alford (wrist) and Greg Allen (hamstring).

The Cardinals’ Alex Reyes (shoulder), who was an All-Star closer last season, is on the IL with ace right-hander Jack Flaherty (shoulder).

Pirates vs Cardinals Prediction

The Cardinals beat the Pirates 12 of 19 times last season as Paul Goldschmidt hit .310 (22 for 71) with seven doubles, one triple and two home runs. St. Louis has won the season series every year since 2014, going 85-58 over seven seasons.

Pirates vs Cardinals Last 10 Meetings

Date Home Team Away Team Score
8/29/21 Pirates Cardinals PIT, 4-3
8/28/21 Pirates Cardinals STL, 13-0
8/27/21 Pirates Cardinals STL, 4-3
8/26/21 Pirates Cardinals PIT, 11-7
8/22/21 Cardinals Pirates STL, 3-0
8/21/21 Cardinals Pirates PIT, 5-4
8/20/21 Cardinals Pirates PIT, 4-0
8/12/21 Pirates Cardinals STL, 9-6
8/11/21 Pirates Cardinals STL, 9-0
8/10/21 Cardinals Pirates STL, 9-1

The line is high and gives reason for pause. However, it’s hard not to back Wainwright when he is facing the Pirates and Pujols’ return should provide an emotional lift for the Cardinals.

The Pick: Cardinals ML (-210)

 

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John Perrotto

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