St. Louis Cardinals vs Pittsburgh Pirates Picks and Predictions June 11th 2024

St. Louis Cardinals vs Pittsburgh Pirates MLB Tue, Jun 11, 19:45 pm.
St. Louis Cardinals
ML: 115
Pittsburgh Pirates
ML: -135

Pirates Rookie Paul Skenes Faces Cardinals for First Time

The Pittsburgh Pirates and St. Louis Cardinals are set to open a crucial three-game series in St. Louis. This matchup is particularly exciting as it features the Pirates’ rookie right-hander, Paul Skenes, making his first appearance against the Cardinals. With both teams looking to climb the National League Central standings, this series promises to be a significant one.

Spotlight on Paul Skenes

Skenes’ Pitching Arsenal

Paul Skenes, the top overall pick of the 2023 MLB Draft, has quickly made a name for himself with an impressive rookie season. Standing tall at 6-foot-6, Skenes brings a powerful combination of pitches to the mound. His fastball regularly hits triple digits, while his unique “splinker”—a blend of a split-finger fastball and a sinker—keeps batters guessing.

Performance Analysis

Skenes’ rookie season statistics are notable. With a 3-0 record and a 3.00 ERA, he has struck out 38 batters while issuing only nine walks over 27 innings. His ability to command the strike zone and generate strikeouts has been a key factor in his early success.

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Last Outing Highlights

In his last outing against the Los Angeles Dodgers, Skenes showcased his resilience and skill. Despite giving up two home runs and three runs overall, he struck out eight batters in five innings, helping the Pirates secure a 10-6 victory. Notably, he maneuvered out of a bases-loaded situation in the fifth inning, demonstrating his composure under pressure.

Manager’s Perspective

Challenges Faced

Pirates manager Derek Shelton praised Skenes’ performance, highlighting his ability to remain composed in high-stress situations. “He’s going to give up home runs,” Shelton noted, “but when you have an error and you load the bases… it’s not easy. There’s All-Stars throughout it. So very impressed with how composed he stayed.”

Composure Under Pressure

Skenes’ ability to maintain his poise, even when facing challenging situations, has been a standout trait. His maturity on the mound, despite his youth, bodes well for his future in the majors.

Offensive Support for Skenes

The Pirates’ offense has been particularly supportive when Skenes is on the mound, averaging a robust nine runs per game over his five starts. This offensive outburst has provided a cushion, allowing Skenes to pitch with confidence.

Key Contributors

Veteran outfielder Andrew McCutchen and infielder Nick Gonzalez have been instrumental in the Pirates’ offensive surge. Gonzalez, in particular, has been on a hot streak since being recalled from Triple-A Indianapolis, batting .310 with four home runs and 23 RBIs.

Cardinals’ Counterpart: Miles Mikolas

Mikolas’ Pitching Arsenal

Facing Skenes will be Cardinals right-hander Miles Mikolas. Known for his command and strategic pitching, Mikolas features a mix of fastballs, sliders, and curveballs. His ability to place pitches effectively has been a cornerstone of his career.

Recent Performance

Mikolas also comes off a strong performance, having overcome two home runs to secure a victory against the Houston Astros. He allowed just two runs on five hits over six innings, demonstrating his ability to control the game.

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Head-to-Head History

Team Performance Trends

Historically, the Pirates and Cardinals have had numerous battles, with each team having periods of dominance. This season, the matchups between these two teams have been closely contested, adding to the anticipation of this series.

Individual Player Matchups

Key matchups to watch include how the Cardinals’ hitters handle Skenes’ splinker and how the Pirates fare against Mikolas’ strategic pitching. These individual battles could very well determine the outcome of the games.

Cardinals’ Offensive Strengths

Impact Players

The Cardinals’ offense has been led by players like Alec Burleson and rookie Masyn Wynn. Burleson has been particularly hot, with four home runs in his last eight games, while Wynn has contributed significantly with hits and RBIs.

Game Strategy and Expectations

Pirates’ Game Plan

For the Pirates, success will hinge on maintaining their offensive momentum and supporting Skenes with strong defensive plays. They will need to capitalize on scoring opportunities and limit mistakes in the field.

Cardinals’ Game Plan

The Cardinals will focus on exploiting any weaknesses in Skenes’ pitching and relying on their experienced hitters to drive in runs. Mikolas’ ability to keep the Pirates’ hitters off balance will be crucial.

Future Implications

Skenes’ Potential Career Trajectory

If Skenes continues to perform at this level, he could be a cornerstone for the Pirates’ rotation for years to come. His unique pitch arsenal and composure suggest a bright future ahead.

Cardinals’ Season Outlook

For the Cardinals, this series is an opportunity to solidify their position in the standings and build momentum for the second half of the season. Strong performances could boost their playoff chances.


The series between the Pirates and Cardinals, featuring rookie sensation Paul Skenes, promises to be an exciting and pivotal matchup. Both teams have much at stake, and the outcomes will likely influence their trajectories for the remainder of the season.

Docsports, The most trusted name in sports handicapping
Mon, Jun 10, 20:34 pm.
St. Louis Cardinals
O 7.5
Pittsburgh Pirates
U 7.5
Marco D'Angelo | Handicapper

Free Picks found on WagerTalk. Marco D’Angelo is part of the WagerTalk Group.

Marco D’Angelo has been a professional sports handicapper and bettor since 1980.

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