Date/Time: April 21st, 8:05 PM ET
Probable Starters: Westbrook (St. Louis) vs. Kendrick (Philadelphia)
Moneyline: St. Louis -112
Sunday Night Baseball betting action wraps up for the week in the City of Brotherly Love, as the Philadelphia Phillies take on the St. Louis Cardinals, as the hosts go in search of a four-game series split.
The Cards have done well in this series, holding the Phillies down to just three runs in total in two of the three games. The only pitcher that really didn’t throw well was RHP Jaime Garcia, who only lasted three innings on Friday night against RHP Roy Halladay. RHP Jake Westbrook is coming off of the best outing that he has had, quite possibly in his entire career. The righty allowed just five runs and four walks without conceding a run in a complete game shutout of the Cincinnati Reds at home. The real concern that we have this year for Westbrook though, is his control. He has walked a whopping 10 batters in two starts, and he only has four strikeouts to counter them. He has thrown at least 111 pitches in each of his starts this year, and that doesn’t bode well either, especially knowing that he was skipped in the rotation after his complete game shutout against the Reds.
The Phillies really haven’t played great baseball this year, and the fans in the City of Brotherly Love can’t be all that happy about the 7-11 start to the campaign. The team is now just 1-5 in its last six games, and the only games that have been won since April 12th have been started by the aforementioned Halladay. The offense has been shut out twice and held to two runs or fewer a total of six times in that stretch, and it has more than three runs scored just one since April 10th. That’s why there is a lot of pressure on RHP Kyle Kendrick tonight. Kendrick does have two very good starts under his belt this year. He posted seven shutout innings and allowed just two hits and two walks against the Reds five days ago, but he got the no-decision in a 1-0 loss. In his first start, he allowed eight hits and two runs in six innings in the game in which he got his lone victory of the year against the New York Mets. Still, efficiency with pitches is becoming a problem. Kendrick has averaged over 16 pitches per inning this year, and that isn’t going to get him through many games.
The Phillies know that they are in some trouble this year, but this is a game that should be won. Kendrick has sabermetrically pitched relatively well this year, while there is no way that the Sabermetrics of the game suggest that Westbrook is going to be able to keep this torrid pace up. He’ll give up his first several runs of the year on Sunday and get run out of town, taking his first loss along the way.
St. Louis Cardinals @ Philadelphia Phillies Pick: Philadelphia Phillies +105
is a staff writer living in the Orlando area. He has covered NFL, MLB, college football, CFL, AFL, NBA, college basketball, NASCAR, golf, tennis, and the NHL for a number of various outlets in his career, and he has been published by a number of different media outlets, including the Orlando Sentinel and the Wall Street Journal.