When the Philadelphia Phillies travel to St. Louis to face the Cardinals, they do so as MLB odds underdogs. We focus our handicapping attention on the run-line as it promises the best profit.
Philadelphia Phillies (Hamels) vs. St. Louis Cardinals (Lackey)
The Philadelphia Phillies travel as underdogs in MLB odds to St. Louis on Monday night for the 1st of 4-game set to close out April. Philadelphia comes off a 6-game home stand in which they went 3-3 vs. Miami and Atlanta, winning 2 of 3 from the Braves this weekend. St. Louis completed a week-long road trip in which they went 4-2 against Washington and Milwaukee, dropping a 6-3 decision at Milwaukee on Sunday.
Little was expected of Philadelphia this season, whose 67 projected wins was the lowest in MLB. To date, they have played as projected with a pitiful offense and underperforming pitching. 13 times in 19 outings, the Phillies have scored 3 or less runs. They enter this evening’s play at 7-12 with a 1-6 road record. Tonight’s starter, Hamels, has been on the trading block since prior to the season. Yet, he has done little to show the worth of his lofty asking price. Hamels has just 1 win in his last 9 starts. For the year, he is 0-2 with a 3.75 ERA.
St. Louis is a nearly automatic play for us when they come off a loss! In the last 3+ seasons, St. Louis is 96-60 following a defeat, including 3-1 following a loss this season. In addition, St. Louis is recently 38-15 on this field, including 5-1 this season. On Sunday, the Cardinals suffered a devastating blow, when their ace hurler, Wainwright, was declared out for the season with an Achilles injury. The Cards will be looking to a veteran hurler such as Lackey, who is a consistent double digit winner, to have an outstanding year in his place. To date, Lackey is 1-0 working 18 2/3 IP, allowing 9 runs on 17 hits with a 13/4 KBB.
This is a matchup of one of the worst teams in the National League vs. one of the best. The home/road dichotomy provides a clear-cut edge for us to apply to our MLB picks in this matchup. But, we can make this an extremely profitable play by using our run line information. This season, 10 of 12 Philadelphia losses have come by 2 or more runs. In a similar way, 11 of 12 St. Louis’ victories (including all 3 wins following defeat) have come by 2 or more runs. Lay the runs and take the price backed by a solid home/road dichotomy and the situational advantage of St. Louis being off a loss.
MLB Picks: Take St. Louis Cardinals (-1 ½ R/+165) at 5Dimes