Field of Dreams Wednesday

The Pittsburgh Pirates and St Louis Cardinals will meet in a winner-take-all Game 5 to determine who advances to play the LA Dodgers in the NLCS. The final NLDS game, which will be played at Busch Stadium in St. Louis, is scheduled to begin at 8:07pm ET.

Heading into this decisive encounter, the Cardinals can take comfort in they hold a 7-1 record in the last three years when facing postseason elimination.

Conversely, this is the Pittsburgh Pirates’ first playoff appearance since 1992, but up until this point they looked like seasoned post-season campaigners.

The Pirates triumphant inexperience is personified through Gerrit Cole.

The rookie pitcher is just 23-years-old made a debut appearance in game 2, which led to many of the Cardinals hitters being consistently late on his mid-90s fastball and being unable lay off his slider.

Cole ended the night by retiring 11 consecutive hitters but that they’ve seen him, the Cardinals expect to have more success against Cole.

Statistically, the series is almost dead even. The Pirates are batting .236 with 14 runs, while the Cardinals are hitting .192 with 15 runs.

Alvarez has three homers and five RBIs for the Pirates, and NL MVP candidate Andrew McCutchen is batting .357. But leadoff man Starling Marte 1 for 15 and Neil Walker is hitless in 16 at-bats.

Both opponents know each other all too well. It’ll be the 24th meeting of the season, with strong stretches on both sides and the Pirates holding a 12-11 edge.

The Cardinals are -161 favorites on their own patch – but we’re sticking by the Pirates to reach the NLCS at +151.

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