The Philadelphia Phillies and St. Louis Cardinals are both looking to bounce back from losses on the road, as they prepare to open up a four-game series Thursday night.
St. Louis was blanked offensively for the second time during the 2013 MLB campaign, as it attempts to bounce back from a 5-0 loss to the Pittsburgh Pirates as -113 road favorites Wednesday night, while going UNDER the posted total of 7.5.
The Cardinals are 13-9 after getting shutout the last two-plus seasons, with the OVER holding a slim 11-10-1 advantage in those 22 opportunities.
The Philadelphia Phillies scored just four runs in suffering a three-game sweep against the Cincinnati Reds, including an 11-2 setback as +121 road underdogs Wednesday night, while the UNDER is 5-1 in its last six contests.
The Phillies are 35-29 in April the last two-plus seasons, with the OVER going 33-30-1 in that situation.
Cardinals starting pitcher Adam Wainwright (2-1, 2.05 ERA) has led the club to back-to-back victories, including a 8-0 complete game home victory over the Milwaukee Brewers last time out, as he allowed four hits and struck out a season-high 12 batters.
The right-hander is 3-1 with a 2.20 ERA in nine career games (seven starts) versus the Phillies, as he’s allowed just two earned runs in his last 20 frames in this series (0.90 ERA).
Wainwright has struck out 24 batters in 22 overall innings this season, while he’s yet to issue a single free pass.
Phillies starting pitcher Cole Hamels (0-2, 7.56 ERA) has yet to lead his team to a victory this season, as he failed to earn a decision in a 2-1 road loss to the Miami Marlins last time out—allowing a single run and three hits over six frames.
The left-hander is 2-3 with a 3.27 ERA in nine career games versus the Cardinals, but he didn’t appear in this series in 2012. He’ll need to be somewhat cautious with St. Louis outfielder Carlos Beltran, who is 10-for-40 (.250) in his career against him with three home runs.
Runners in scoring position
MLB handicappers are going to have a hard time making a play on this game due to the starting pitching matchup when looking over SBR's MLB odds page, but I think there’s one statistic that stands out in a big way.
St. Louis leads the majors in batting .392 with runners in scoring position, while Philadelphia sits 13th (.274) in that particular category.
I’m going to recommend that readers back the Cardinals in the first five innings as one of their sports picks Thursday night, as the Phillies are 3-8 in Hamels’ last 11 starts versus a team with a winning record.
St. Louis certainly fits the bill as one of the better teams in the league with a +26 run differential, while Philadelphia has been outscored by 22 runs through 15 games.
Free MLB Pick: St. Louis Cardinals -108 First 5 Innings at 5Dimes