Two teams on opposite ends of the success spectrum meet as the Cardinals and Phillies open a three-game weekend series at CBP Friday night. Today's price still seems a bit steep, but as "they" say, there's more than one way to skin a baseball.
Cardinals-Phillies Friday Betting Odds
As of early Friday morning the best price we could find on St. Louis and lefty Tyler Lyons was the -176 offered at BetOnline, while Philly and righty Phillippe Aumont could be found getting +168 at 5Dimes. Bettors willing to take a chance could also get the Cardinals at +102 on the run line at 5Dimes.
St. Louis just split four games with Minnesota this week, winning twice at Busch Stadium but then losing twice at Target Field. Thursday the Cardinals lost 2-1 on a walk-off homer in the bottom of the ninth. Just before that St. Louis swept two games from Kansas City, and going back into May it's 5-1-1 over its last seven series, 16-7 over its last 23 games.
On the other end of the spectrum Philly just snapped a nine-game losing streak with a 2-1 victory over Baltimore Thursday. Just before that the Phillies got swept three games at Pittsburgh; just before that they got swept three games at Cincinnati; and just before that they lost two of three against San Francisco. So Philly is 0-4 in its last four series, 4-19 over its last 23 games.
At 43-23 St. Louis owns the best record in baseball, while at 23-45 Philadelphia owns the worst record in baseball.
St. Louis leads this season series three games to one.
Friday's Pitching Match-Up
Aumont (yeah, he's a Canuck) will be making his first-ever ML start Friday night, in place of the injured Cole Hamels. Last year the big righty appeared in five games for Philadelphia, and got rocked for 12 runs in less than six total innings. He earned a return trip to the Majors, for the moment, by going 3-4 with a 2.35 ERA in 14 games down at Triple-A Lehigh Valley this spring. But while he gave up just 49 hits through 65 innings, with 58 strikeouts, he also walked 41, which is way too many for that amount of work.
Lyons, back in the Cardinal rotation in place of the injured Lance Lynn, is 0/4 on quality starts this season. He went 0-for-three back in early May, then got demoted. He rejoined the Big Club last week and in his first start back held Kansas City to two runs through five innings, with one walk and six strikeouts, in a 3-2 St. Louis victory. On the season Lyons has allowed 21 hits, including four homers, in 18 innings; the Cardinals are 2-2 in Lyon's starts, with the UNDERS going 3-1.
Neither starting pitcher has faced tonight's opponents before.
Friday's Batting Splits
St. Louis ranks second in the Majors this season against right-handed pitching with a .330 team OBP, while Philadelphia ranks dead last against righties with an anemic .277 team OBP.
St. Louis has played eight UNDERS in a row, and 17 UNDERS in its last 20 games, because while the pitching has been great, the bats have been no better than average. In fact, the Cardinals haven't scored more than four runs in a game since June 4, a stretch of 12 games.
Philly has played six UNDERS in its last eight games, mainly because it's scored a total of 14 runs during that span.
St. Louis is playing without OF Matt Holliday (.417 OBP), who's on the DL with a bad quad. His absence is part of the reason for the Cardinals recent dearth of scoring.
Cardinals-Phillies Free Picks
The pitching match-up means nothing to us; St. Louis is the obvious choice here. And because we like to take chances we'll play the Cardinals on the run line. Also, neither team is doing much with the sticks as of late, so we're thinking UNDER as our MLB pick.