Baseball Picks: Philadelphia Phillies at St. Louis Cardinals

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The Phillies ended a four-game losing streak Wednesday and tonight, return to the site of their National League Division Series showdown to begin a series with the Central-leading Cardinals

 


Joe Blanton is 3-2 with a 3.03 ERA and 1.12 WHIP in six games vs. the Cards, all-time

 

St. Louis (25-19) is coming off a three-game sweep against the Padres and has won four in a row at Busch Stadium, dating back to May 15. The Cardinals have been forced to deal with injuries to Allen Craig (hamstring), John Jay (shoulder) and Lance Berkman (knee) but San Diego ranks last in nearly every offensive category so the Cards had little trouble.

 

Philadelphia (22-23) has been shorthanded all season and is 19th in overall scoring but they’ve played better on the road. Philly is 12th in the majors with a scoring average of 4.38 runs per game (RPG) away from Citizens Bank Park and the team’s past 10 road dates have produced seven wins.

 

Online sportsbooks list the Cardinals as a -131 moneyline favorite with a total of 8.5 Over (-105). MLB odds for the run line pay back at +168.

 

PITCHING MATCHUP

Right-hander Joe Blanton (4-4, 3.74 ERA) is looking to bounce back from a rough outing against Boston and improve upon a 1-3 road record. He’s received very little run support in four road starts (2.00 RPG) but that wasn’t an issue May 2 in Atlanta. Blanton held the Braves to three hits and no walks in a 4-0 Phillies win.

 

Cardinals righty Jake Westbrook (4-3, 2.41 ERA) is 1-1 in three career starts vs. Philly with a 3.52 ERA and 1.63 WHIP. Placido Polanco (9 for 28) and Ty Wigginton (5 for 15) have had considerable success against Westbrook and will look to anchor a lineup that could be without Carlos Ruiz (Check status).

 

MLB PICKS

The Phillies followed Cole Hamels’ first two wins this season with impressive outings against Josh Johnson and Tim Lincecum. From there, the team suffered losses against the Padres, Cubs, Braves and Mets. A mix in the rotation saw Blanton slide in behind Hamels and the Phils are 1-1 but the loss was against Jon Lester, who is 4-0 life-time vs. the Phillies.

 

Philadelphia is looking for positives this year and needs to find a way to build on strong starts from the top arms. They should be up for this game and with more impressive road numbers at the plate, today’s game is a good spot to grab plus-money on a “live” road dog.

Pick: Take the Phillies

 

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