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Matt Zylbert breaks down Cardinals vs. Pirates and gives us his picks

MLB Picks - 5/2/21

St. Louis Cardinals at Pittsburgh Pirates

Over/Under: 8.5

First pitch: 1:05 p.m. ET

Probable pitchers: Carlos Martinez (1-4, 4.76 ERA) vs. Wil Crowe (0-0, 3.86 ERA)

St. Louis Cardinals vs. Pittsburgh Pirates

It’s been years since Martinez was last relevant as a true feared starting pitcher but that storyline appears to be changing.

Sure, Martinez only just won for the first time as a starter since July 2018 in his last turn. However, the evidence has quickly been mounting. After logging a solid seven-plus innings in the victory, Martinez has his best two-start stretch in awhile.

The recent strong work is even enough for Martinez to declare: “I think the Tsunami is coming again.” You have to love hearing that, as this trademark confidence was part of the right-hander’s game when he first emerged. That tells me he wants it.

Something that can help Martinez extend his run is the assignment. He’ll be working from pitcher-friendly PNC Park in this one (coincidentally around a body of water for the Tsunami to maybe playfully generate extra momentum), where he’s generally been good throughout his career. Furthermore, the Pirates unleash one of the relatively weaker lineups in the league.

Martinez may paint another quality start but we’re still going to need a serviceable showing from his counterpart. That would be the youngster Crowe, who is in the midst of exhibiting he belongs in the bigs.

Though Pittsburgh’s prized import from the Josh Bell deal endured a tough beginning to his Major League career last year with the Washington Nationals, he’s already bringing returns on investment with his new team after just one start.

Crowe’s first assignment in fresh colors earlier this week followed a brief relief appearance in early April — and he looked sharp despite the long layoff. The hard-hitting Minnesota Twins could only muster one run in four innings off the 26-year-old.

Betting on Crowe to keep establish himself, or at least survive given where the total sits, is a fine proposition to make alongside the re-emergence of Martinez.

Pick: UNDER 8.5 @ -101 (Click here to bet)

MLB Leans - Sunday May 2

Indians-White Sox Under 8.5

Angels-Mariners Under 8.5

2021 MLB Over/Under Betting Record*: 14-14-2, -1.75 units

Yesterday’s Result: Tigers-Yankees Under 8.5 (“loss”)

*Each bet graded as if it were to win 1 unit


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