Pittsburgh Pirates Set to Host Red Birds in Weekend Series

PITTSBURGH, PA - APRIL 27: Phillip Evans #24 of the Pittsburgh Pirates high fives with Adam Frazier #26 after the final out in a 2-1 win over the Kansas City Royals at PNC Park on April 27, 2021 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PA - APRIL 27: Phillip Evans #24 of the Pittsburgh Pirates high fives with Adam Frazier #26 after the final out in a 2-1 win over the Kansas City Royals at PNC Park on April 27, 2021 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images) /
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Apr 28, 2021; St. Louis, Missouri, USA; St. Louis Cardinals left fielder Tyler O’Neill (27) is congratulated by shortstop Paul DeJong (11) after hitting a two run home run during the second inning against the Philadelphia Phillies at Busch Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 28, 2021; St. Louis, Missouri, USA; St. Louis Cardinals left fielder Tyler O’Neill (27) is congratulated by shortstop Paul DeJong (11) after hitting a two run home run during the second inning against the Philadelphia Phillies at Busch Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports /

The Cardinals have been pretty… average

So far this season the Cardinal offense has been, overall, middle of the pack. Entering play on Thursday they rank 7th in the National League in runs scored (106) and home runs (30). Power is important for the Cardinals on offense as they rank just 13th in the NL with a .299 team on-base percentage. If the Cardinals are struggling to hit the long ball they could struggle to score this weekend.

Long-time catcher Yadier Molina is off a terrific start at the plate this season. Through his first 71 plate appearances of the season Molina is hitting for a .323/.366/.631 slash line to go with a 169 wRC+. His 5 home runs are tied with Paul Goldschmidt for the team lead. Rookie sensation Dylan Carlson is hitting for a .286/.371/.500 slash line to go with a 138 wRC+.

One big offensive surprise is the slow start for Goldschmidt. While he is tied with Molina for the team lead in home runs he is hitting for just a .224/.269/.357 slash line. He has struck out at a 24.0% rate and has a wRC+ of just 76.

Pitching wise, the Cardinals have also been pretty middle of the pack. Again, entering play on Thursday, they rank 7th in the NL in team ERA (4.07) and FIP (4.06). As a staff they have not struck out many batters with a team strikeout rate of 22.6% which ranks 13th in the NL. Control has also been a bit of an issue as the Cardinal staff has the 4th highest walk rate (10.4%) in the NL.

dark. Next. Examining Mitch Keller's Struggles

Stay tuned at Rum Bunter throughout the weekend for coverage from the series. Posting a 4-0-2 record in their last 6 series, the Pirates will be looking to stay hot and pick up another series victory this weekend.