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4:05 PM PT5:05 PM MT6:05 PM CT7:05 PM ET19:05 ET23:05 GMT7:05 4:05 PM MST6:05 PM EST6:35 PM VEN3:05 UAE (+1)6:05 PM CT, August 3, 2018
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Archer to make debut for Pirates vs. Cardinals

According to STATS
According to STATS

St. Louis Cardinals at Pittsburgh Pirates

  1. The Cardinals have won five of six against the Pirates to even the season series at five wins apiece after dropping the first four meetings of 2018. Pittsburgh hasn't won a season series over St. Louis since 2013, when it went 10-9.
  2. St. Louis arrives in Pittsburgh after Thursday's 3-2 walk-off win over the Rockies, its fifth victory in seven games. The Cardinals lead the majors with nine walk-off victories, with two of them coming against the Pirates.
  3. Marcell Ozuna, who exited yesterday's game with a toe injury, has a .424/.486/.667 slash line with nine RBI in 10 games against the Pirates this season. However, he is batting .226 on the road compared to .313 at home -- that difference of .087 points in the fifth largest in the NL.
  4. Chris Archer makes his Pirates debut in the opener, his first start since striking out three over 6.0 innings in last Friday's loss at Baltimore. Archer is striking out an average of 9.56 batters per nine innings after being at 11.15 in 2017. The difference of 1.59 is the sixth-largest dropoff in MLB (min. 90 IP in 2018).
  5. Gregory Polanco had reached base in 15 straight games prior to Wednesday's loss to the Cubs -- tied for the second-longest streak of his career. He has a .339/.382/.742 slash line with six homers, 12 RBI and 15 runs in his last 16 games but is slashing just .171/.275/.343 in nine contests versus St. Louis this season.
  6. The Pirates are 25-6 (.806) when Corey Dickerson drives in at least one run, 27-8 (.771) when Polanco has at least one RBI and 25-8 (.758) when Josh Bell knocks in at least one teammate. Among NL players with at least 30 games with an RBI, those team winning percentages rank second, sixth and seventh.
Notes Applicable For Series Dates: 8/3/2018 thru 8/5/2018
(AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

The Pittsburgh Pirates beat out other teams to land right-hander Chris Archer at the non-waiver trade deadline Tuesday, and now they will get to see him in action.

Archer is scheduled to make his Pirates debut Friday when Pittsburgh opens a key National League Central series against the St. Louis Cardinals at PNC Park.

The Pirates gave up rookie outfielder Austin Meadows, right-hander Tyler Glasnow and a player to be named to acquire Archer from Tampa.

"Just the intensity he brings, the electric stuff that he has on the mound, he's fun to watch," Pittsburgh's Sean Rodriguez, a former Rays teammate, said, according to

Archer is 3-5 with a 4.31 ERA and 1.39 WHIP in 17 starts. Over the past three seasons, he is 22-36 with a 4.10 ERA. He has been among the top three in the American League in strikeouts each of the past three seasons, the only Tampa pitcher to ever have three 200-strikeout seasons. He also has been reliably available, with at least 32 starts each of the past three seasons.

"We understand the surface numbers aren't typical Chris Archer surface numbers," Pirates general manager Neal Huntington said. "We believe the indicators are there that Chris Archer is still an upper-echelon, top-of-the-rotation starting pitcher."

Archer arrived Wednesday and received a warm welcome from teammates and fans.

"That was the biggest relief after all the trade rumors -- these guys really want me," Archer said.

Pittsburgh and St. Louis have identical 56-53 records, tied for third in the division, following the Cardinals' walk-off 3-2 win on Thursday against Colorado.

The Pirates, who were off Thursday, have won 16 of their past 20 games, boosting them into wild-card contention.

The Cardinals are 8-7 since the All-Star break and are not only in a playoff chase but also in the midst of a youth movement.

Gone, in the minor leagues or on the disabled list are Tyler Lyons, Sam Tuivailala, Greg Holland, Luke Voit, Tommy Pham, Matt Bowman, Brett Cecil and Luke Gregerson.

Called up or added through trade are Daniel Poncedeleon, Auston Gomber, Dakota Hudson, Tyler Webb, Tyler O'Neill and Chasen Shreve. St. Louis also recently added eight minor league players.

That follows the firing of manager Mike Matheny.

"We could have done it many different ways," president of baseball operations John Mozeliak said, according to "We look at our system, and we're just trying to add to it as well as creating opportunity at the major league level. Not everybody is going to agree with that philosophy. But that's our road map, and we're hopeful it's successful."

He called the current stretch of games a "peek at the future."

The Cardinals could get one veteran back over the weekend. Second baseman Kolten Wong (left knee inflammation) is expected to travel to Pittsburgh and be activated from the disabled list as soon as Friday.

Right-hander John Gant (3-4, 3.49 ERA) is scheduled to start Friday for St. Louis. Gant is coming off a 5-2 loss to the Cubs on Sunday, when he matched a season low with 4 1/3 innings. He allowed three runs, two earned, including two homers.

Gant is 0-1 with a 4.22 ERA in four career appearances, two starts, against Pittsburgh.

Updated August 3, 2018

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