Watch San Francisco Giants Vs. St. Louis Cardinals Live Online: Duel Of Young Pitchers In Key Matchup

An important duel between two of baseball’s top young pitchers will be available to watch live online Monday, as the San Francisco Giants open a three-game series at Busch Stadium against the National League Central-leading Cardinals in St. Louis. The game is crucial for the Giants, who trail the Los Angeles Dodgers in the NL West by 2 and a half games with 45 left on the schedule.

But the Monday night showdown — the first time the two teams have squared off since the Giants eliminated the Cardinals in the 2014 National League Championship Series — is also important for the Cardinals as they try to hold off a surge from the division rival Pittsburgh Pirates who have won eight of their last 10 games to close Cardinals’ lead to five games. With the Pirates facing struggling Arizona at home Monday, the Cardinals need a victory to keep things comfortable in the Central.

To find out how to watch the San Francisco Giants vs. St. Louis Cardinals game live online, see the streaming links in the final paragraph of this article. First pitch is scheduled for 7:09 Central Daylight Time in St. Louis, 8:09 Eastern and 5:09 Pacific.

Even aside from the pennant race stakes, the Monday game would provide plenty of intrigue, thanks to what appears to be an exciting pitching matchup of young hurlers.

For the visiting Giants, 27-year-old rookie sinkerballer Chris Heston brings his solid 3.38 ERA to the mound, about two months after the righthander spun a no-hitter against the New York Mets. But Heston has been shakier on the road than at home in his first full season — Heston appeared in three games last year — with a 4.45 ERA in 11 road starts compared to a healthier 2.48 at home where he has started 12.

Heston has also slumped in the past couple of weeks, walking eight in his last 15 innings with a 5.40 ERA over three starts, for an 0-2 record.

The Cardinals’ 24-year-old righty Michael Wacha has never thrown a no-hitter — though in his rookie season of 2013, in just his ninth career start, Wacha lost a no-no bid with two outs in the ninth inning against the Washington Nationals.

But Wacha is putting together a stellar 2015 season in St. Louis, with a 2.93 ERA and 119 strikeout in 138 and one third innings, against 35 walks. Wacha’s 14 wins lead the National League, and the youngster has been tagged with just for losses.

Perhaps most importantly, Wacha has been nearly untouchable in August. In fact, starting with his start against Colorado on July 31, Wacha has surrendered just two runs in his last three starts, over 20 innings.

To watch the Monday Night San Francisco Giants vs. St. Louis Cardinals game live online, use the stream provided by WatchESPN at this link, or download the WatchESPN app to watch the game on mobile devices. Fans who do not have credentials to log in to WatchESPN can watch the game via the Sling TV internet TV package at this link. The package, which includes a variety of channels including ESPN and ESPN2 costs $20 per month. But Sling TV offers a seven-day free trial, so subscribers can choose whether or not to keep the service after watching the Giants vs. Cardinals game live online.

[Images: Dilip Vishwanat/Ezra Shaw/Getty Images]