MLB Odds: Phillies at Cardinals Predictions and Betting Picks
by Darin Zank - 6/21/2011
The St. Louis Cardinals have already played through several key injuries this season and have managed to rise to the top of the National League's Central Division. Now they face their biggest challenge yet; playing for the next month or more without the great Albert Pujols.
St. Louis begins that challenge when it hosts the Philadelphia Phillies for a three-game series at Busch Stadium beginning Tuesday night.
The big news out of St. Louis, of course, is the Pujols arm injury that will keep him out of action for at least the next month. The Cardinals recently lost seven games in a row, but won the last two games of an interleague series with Kansas City Saturday and Sunday. So going into Tuesday's play St. Louis leads the NL Central by a half-game over second-place Milwaukee.
Philly just dropped two of three games of an interleague series in Seattle over the weekend, but has still won eight of its last 10. So the Phillies now lead the NL East by 4.5 games over second-place Atlanta.
Roy Halladay will shoot for his 10th victory of this season when he starts Tuesday's series opener for Philly (8:15 p.m. EST) against Kyle McClellan for St. Louis. Then Cliff Lee will go for the Phils Wednesday vs. Kyle Lohse for the Cards (8:15 p.m. EST, ESPN). And Roy Oswalt will start the series finale Thursday (8:15 p.m. EST) for Philadelphia against Chris Carpenter for the Cardinals.
Tuesday's Pitching Matchup
Halladay is 12-for-15 on quality starts this season and owns a 2.56 ERA and a ridiculous 114/14 strikeout-to-walk ratio. He gave up four earned runs in seven innings vs. Florida in his most recent outing, but the Phillies rallied to win in extra innings. Carpenter has started once vs. St. Louis the last two seasons, holding the Cardinals to one ER on seven hits in seven innings of a 7-2 Phillies win last May.
McClellan is seven-for-12 in quality starts this season. He went on the DL himself a few weeks ago with a hip injury, and has made one start since, allowing three ERs in five innings of a loss to Washington last Wednesday. McClellan has never started vs. the Phillies.
Wednesday's Pitching Matchup
Lee is nine-for-14 on quality starts this year, and he's on a roll at the moment. Over his last three starts the lefthander has given up just one ER on 13 hits in 24 IP. And on the season he owns a 111/24 K/BB ratio. Lee has started once vs. St. Louis over the last couple of seasons, allowing three ERs on six hits and six walks in 6 1/3 IP of a 3-1 Philly loss back in May.
Lohse had a run of nine quality outings in 10 starts earlier this year, but over his last three starts he's allowed 12 ERs on 23 hits in 16 2/3 IP. He's started once vs. Philly over the last two seasons, and got plucked for three ERs on nine hits in just four innings of a 7-2 Cardinals loss last May.
Thursday's Pitching Matchup
Oswalt has pitched in a bit of bad luck this season. Four times this year he's allowed two runs or fewer in a start only to have the Phillies lose the game. That's why his ERA is 3.37 but his record is 4-5. Over his last three starts, including a loss last Friday in Seattle, Oswalt has allowed 11 ERs on 21 hits in 19 1/3 IP. He's started one game vs. St. Louis this year, and held the Cards to one ER on seven hits in five innings of a 2-1 Phillies loss.
Carpenter began this season pitching in bad luck, but has gone downhill from there. He managed five quality starts in his first six outings this season, but is three-for-nine in quality starts since. Over his last two starts the former Cy Younger has given up nine ERs on 15 hits in 14 innings. Carpenter has started just once vs. Philly the last two seasons, but it was a good one, as he held the Phils to one ER on five hits in eight innings of a 7-1 Cardinals victory last July.
Philadelphia ranks 14th in the Majors in team on-base percentage at .320, 20th in slugging at .378, 18th in homers with 61 and 18th in scoring at 4.1 runs per game. But they're coming around, averaging five RPG over their last 10 games.
Philly pitching, meanwhile, leads the Majors in team ERA at 3.03 and in quality starts with 48.
St. Louis ranks third in OBP at .344, sixth in slugging at .416, 15th in homers with 66 and third in scoring at 4.8 RPG. But we wonder if they can keep those numbers up without Pujols.
Cardinals pitching ranks 14th in ERA at 3.94 but 26th in quality starts with 36.
In the first meeting this season between these two teams back in May the Cardinals swept a quick two-game series from the Phillies at Busch by scores of 3-1 and 2-1. Both those games, obviously, played “under” their posted totals. Last year these two teams split eight games, and five of those games played “under” the totals.
MLB Odds: Phillies at Cardinals Series Odds and Trends
As of Tuesday morning Bodog is listing Philadelphia as a -160 favorite to win this series, with St. Louis getting +130 as a home underdog.
Philly is 17-16 on the road this season.
St. Louis is 20-13 at home this season.
The totals are 32-34 in Phillies games this season.
The totals are 41-29 in Cardinals games this season.
The totals are 15-17 in games played at Busch Stadium this season, which have averaged 7.7 RPG.
Phillies at Cardinals Predictions
St. Louis has done a great job of getting to where they are this season, with all the injuries, but sooner or later that stuff catches up to you, and the loss of Pujols will be tough to overcome. And when you've got to go against Halladay, Oswalt and Lee, well, that's a tough task. So we'll go with Philly here to win this series.
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