MLB Odds: Cardinals vs. Pirates in Tight NL Central. There isn’t much drama in the MLB standings right now – unless you’re in the National League Central. The St. Louis Cardinals are closing in on the first-place Chicago Cubs, and despite their recent woes, the Pittsburgh Pirates are still in the hunt for at least a Wild Card berth. The Cardinals and Pirates will meet Thursday afternoon at PNC Park, beginning at 12:35 PM ET on the MLB Network.

According to Bovada Sportsbook Miles Mikolas (4.17 ERA) is expected to start for St. Louis, and if the rotation holds, it’ll be Joe Musgrove (4.08 ERA) throwing for the Pirates. Mikolas isn’t pitching as well as he did last year, giving up nearly twice as many home runs and leading the Cards to a 10-10 record (UNDER 11-8-1) after 20 appearances. Musgrove has the same team record for Pittsburgh, but with the OVER at 12-8. Bet on baseball at Bovada and get a free 50% bonus.

Relief pitching has allowed St. Louis to stay close to the division lead, while the Pirates have been slipping. The Cards have also gotten a boost from back-up catcher Matt Wieters (.763 OPS), who’s taken over for injured starter Yadier Molina (.654 OPS). However, LF Marcell Ozuna (.847 OPS) isn’t expected back until early August after suffering two broken fingers on his right hand.

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