Philadelphia Phillies vs St. Louis Cardinals Predictions

Phillies pitcher Nick Pivetta in action

Saturday, June 10, 2017 2:12 PM GMT

The Cardinals broke a seven-game losing streak when they returned home to face the Phillies. The Phillies have been struggling as well and will look to turn things around this afternoon.

Philadelphia Phillies vs St. Louis Cardinals

The Cardinals have lost seven of eight and the Phillies have dropped three in a row. The Cardinals have really struggled with their hitting and their bullpen. Their lineup is producing a paltry .630 OPS (on-base % plus slugging %. The average is .730) in the past seven days. Their bullpen ranks towards the bottom of the league statistically, despite not pitching many innings, and has grown notorious for blowing leads. The Phillies’ OPS, on the other side, is .792 in their past seven days but they have struggled with consistency, as their OPS is so high because of a few exceptionally strong outings.

Jed Gyorko and Tommy Pham both went two-for-four against the Phillies last night. They have surprisingly been the only bright spots in the Cardinals’ lineup, as they are the only ones batting .300+. Gyorko is the hitter most likely to do well tomorrow as the Phillies’ pitcher throws the four-seam fastball more than twice as much as he does any other pitch and Gyorko's wOBA (OPS plus run potential) is a very high .405 against this pitch). Odubel Herrera is the only Phillies’ batter who has at least two career hits off of Martinez. He is two-for-three in his career against Martinez with a RBI and his OPS is a sizzling 1.687 in his last seven days and 1.174 in his last fourteen days. The Phillies have only eleven career at-bats against Martinez while the Cardinals have not seen Pivetta.



The Starters

Carlos Martinez had an unlucky outing in Cincinnati, with an ERA of 5.58 but an FIP (this is like ERA, but accounts for a pitcher’s good or bad luck) of 1.49, meaning that he pitched well, but the batted balls of the Reds were finding lucky spots. Marinez’ FIP has been 3.21 or less in his last four outings, so he is in good form. The Phillies seem to be in a slump right now, as they have produced only four runs in their past three games. so an in-form Martinez must seem even scarier to this lineup that matches up poorly against him. Martinez should do well tomorrow because he is a power ground ball pitcher. The Phillies’ OPS is just .672 against power pitchers while it is only .710 against ground ball pitchers. Martinez is easily at his best at home. In his career, his FIP is 2.91 in St. Louis, but 4.04 elsewhere. 

Rookie Nick Pivetta makes his third consecutive road start for the Phillies. He seems to be acclimating himself to professional baseball as his FIP in his last two outings was 3.50 in Texas and 3.27 in Atlanta. Both of those teams, however, share in common a weakness against power pitching. The Cardinals are even worse: their OPS this season against power pitchers is .603. But they also haven’t been hitting much at all lately, as their OPS in the past seven days is .630. The kicker is, though, that the Cardinals have really struggled against pitchers that they haven’t seen before. For instance, Eddie Butler’s first professional start this season for the Cubs was in St. Louis, where he gave up two hits and zero runs in six innings (2.91 FIP).  Most recently, Reds’ reliever-turned-starter Asher Wojciechowski, who was, like Butler, recently called up from Triple A, threw six innings against the Cards and gave up only two runs and two hits (2.07 FIP). I expect Pivetta to pitch well against St. Louis because the Cardinals are cold, match up poorly against him and haven’t seen him before.



The Verdict

I like both starters to do well because they are in good form and enjoy a strong match-up against struggling lineups. I don’t want to back either bullpen, two of the worst bullpens in the majors right now. So I’ll back the Under on the first 5 innings for my MLB Picks.



Free MLB Pick: Under 4.5 (-105) 1st 5 InningsBest Line Offered: at Bookmaker

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