Free MLB Picks: Cardinals vs. Phillies

Jeff Grant

Friday, April 19, 2013 12:19 PM GMT

St. Louis Cardinals starting pitcher Jaime Garcia has enjoyed great success during the month of April in his career, which may be enough to pick up a victory against the Philadelphia Phillies Friday night.

Let’s take a closer look at the MLB betting odds for this National League matchup at Citizens Bank Park, with the first pitch scheduled for 7:05 p.m. ET.

Which lines do we believe hold the best value for our MLB picks tonight?

Success in April 

St. Louis has alternated wins and losses over its last five games, as it picked up a 4-3 series-opening victory over Philadelphia as -115 road favorites Thursday. The Cardinals went 2-5 against the Phillies during the 2012 MLB campaign. 

Over the last two-plus seasons, the Cardinals have compiled a 39-24 record in the month of April, with the UNDER going 32-29-2 in that situation. 

Shut down 

Philadelphia has lost four games in a row, with the offense scoring just seven runs over that span, while the UNDER is on a 5-1-1 run. The Phillies haven’t plated more than three runs since April 10. 

MLB handicappers will find that the club is 22nd in the majors with a .245 overall batting average, but ranks dead last when facing left-handed pitchers (.131 avg). 

Garcia 

Cardinals starting pitcher Jaime Garcia (1-0, 1.86 ERA) hasn’t earned a decision in his last two outings, as the club has been outscored by a 17-7 margin in those contests, while he’s allowed three runs and 13 hits over 13.2 innings of work. 

The left-hander is 2-2 with a 2.00 ERA in seven career games (five starts) versus the Phillies, as he’s held them to just a .194 batting average and a single home run over 36 combined frames. 

In 17 lifetime starts in April, Garcia has compiled a dominating 8-2 record and 2.00 ERA, which are his best marks of any month since arriving in the big leagues in 2008. 

Halladay

Phillies starting pitcher Roy Halladay (1-2, 7.63 ERA) earned a 2-1 road victory over the Miami marlins last time out, as he allowed one run and five hits over eight strong innings, but managed to strike out just two batters. 

The right-hander is 3-2 with a 2.70 ERA in six career efforts versus the Cardinals, including an even 1-1 mark and 4.50 ERA in two starts during the 2012 campaign.

[gameodds]3/225177/43/us[/gameodds]

Prediction 

I’m going to recommend that readers back the Cardinals in the first five innings Friday, as they’ve won four of their last five games as road favorites of -110 to -150, while the Phillies are 5-12 in their last 17 games as home underdogs of +100 to +125. 

MLB Pick: St. Louis Cardinals First Five Innings -113 at Pinnacle