The St. Louis Cardinals and Philadelphia Phillies both had productive offseasons, with St. Louis trading for Paul Goldschmidt and Philadelphia landing free agent Bryce Harper. The teams play the opener of a series in Philly on Tuesday with the Phils as slight favorites on the MLB lines.
How to Bet Cardinals at Phillies MLB Odds & TV Info
- When: Tuesday, 7:05 PM ET
- Where: Citizens Bank Park
- TV: MLB Network
- Stream: MLB.tv
- Radio: St. Louis / Philadelphia
- Opening MLB Lines: Phillies -118, Cardinals +108 (9.5)
- Probable pitchers (away/home): Adam Wainwright/Nick Pivetta
Why Bet on St. Louis?
Closer Jordan Hicks imploded in the ninth inning on Sunday, giving up three runs on three hits and a walk without recording an out. Hicks was called upon to protect a three-run lead in the ninth inning after Jack Flaherty and company had shut out the Braves through the first eight innings. He made things interesting right away though, giving up a leadoff double to Freddie Freeman, then a run-scoring single to Josh Donaldson.
After that, he walked Nick Markakis before allowing an RBI-single to Austin Riley to pull the Braves to within a run. That was all Mike Shildt needed to see, as Hicks was pulled in favor of Andrew Miller. That’s two rough outings in his last three for Hicks who now owns a 4.24 ERA and 1.24 WHIP on the season.
Catcher Yadier Molina suffered a bruised right thumb during Sunday’s loss to the Braves. It bothered Molina in the late innings of the ballgame, but didn’t lead to an early exit. The veteran backstop said after Sunday’s game that he fully expects to play on Tuesday. Molina hit his 68th career sacrifice fly, tying Albert Pujols for the most in Cardinals history. Molina collected his 1,900th career hit with a single in the 10th inning.
Dexter Fowler has been hit by pitch in a career-high three straight games, the most by a Cardinals batter since Jon Jay was pegged in three straight in 2014. Fowler also recorded his 3rd outfield assist of the season, leads the Cardinals and ranks T5th among National League outfielders. Harrison Bader has hit safely in 10 of his last 12 starts (16-41, .390). He stole his first base of the season and give the Cardinals 12 different players with at least one stolen base, the most in MLB (Boston, 11).
It’s veteran Adam Wainwright on the bump. Wainwright gave up three runs on six hits and four walks while striking out two over five innings to earn the win over the Royals last Wednesday. Wainwright didn’t dominate, but he worked his way in and out of trouble to pick up his fourth win. The walks continue to be a problem as he has allowed a 4.0 BB/9, and he will have to be more efficient to pitch deeper into games. The right-hander has a 4-4 record with a 4.82 ERA and 41:23 K:BB through 10 starts this season.
Wainwright’s uneven season has hit a bit of a valley in May. He’s allowed eight runs over his last nine innings and pitched past the fifth only once in four starts. He has been much better at home, though, where he has a 3.00 ERA in five games.
Why Bet on Philadelphia?
Bryce Harper went 0-for-3 with three strikeouts in Sunday’s loss to the Brewers. The Phillies managed just one hit — an Andrew Knapp solo home run — on the afternoon. For the campaign as a whole, the big money outfielder has largely struggled, hitting just .227/.355/.438 with nine home runs and 34 RBI in 53 games. Harper has had stretches where it has looked like he might be ready to get things going in earnest but it hasn’t happened yet.
Harper has encountered a unique problem in his first season with the Phillies: he’s not hitting fastballs. Harper struck out three times on fastballs in Sunday’s game against the Brewers. That means 39 of his league-leading 73 strikeouts have come from whiffing on fastballs, a big factor in his .227 average on the season.
Hector Neris (1.99 ERA) and Adam Morgan (1.96 ERA) have both been fantastic this season, and the Phillies’ bullpen isn’t as bad as one may believe. However, they are current missing Pat Neshek, David Robertson, Tommy Hunter, Edubray Ramos, and Victor Arano. That is a lot of arms to be on the injured list.
It’s Nick Pivetta on the mound. Manager Gabe Kapler is eager to see how Pivetta fares after making his last six starts at Triple A.
“We feel like there’s been some steps taken,” Kapler said. “He’s had some success and there have been some bumps in the road. [Pitching coach] Chris Young and I plan on having a good conversation with him and arming him with some information that will help him on Tuesday.”
Pivetta opened the season as the Phillies’ No. 2 starter. He was sent out after posting an 8.35 ERA in his first four starts of the season. In six starts at Triple A, he was 4-1 with a 3.41 ERA. He allowed 22 hits and 20 walks in 37 innings and struck out 50.
Cardinals vs Phillies MLB Betting Trends
- Cardinals are 20-8 in Wainwright’s last 28 Tuesday starts.
- Cardinals are 6-1 in Wainwright’s last 7 starts vs. Phillies.
- Phillies are 1-4 in their last 5 Tuesday games.
- Phillies are 6-2 in Pivetta’s last 8 starts during game 1 of a series.
- Phillies are 6-2 in Pivetta’s last 8 starts vs. National League Central.
Expert MLB Prediction for Cardinals vs Phillies
Cardinals 6, Phillies 5