MLB Preview – Philadelphia Phillies at St. Louis Cardinals
St. Louis +150
Total 7.5o -115
The Philadelphia Phillies kick-off a three-game series with the St. Louis Cardinals tonight at Busch Stadium in a showdown of two National League division leaders. Game time is set for 8:15 p.m. (ET) and it will be available on MLB TV.
Philadelphia has opened-up a 4.5 game lead over Atlanta in the NL East after winning eight of its last 10 games. The Phillies did drop two of three to Seattle this past weekend, but they still have the best overall record in the Majors at 45-28. They are 28-12 at home and 17-16 on the road.
This once powerful lineup has struggled a bit this season with an average of just 4.10 runs a game. Fortunately its pitching has made up for the shortfall in production with a NL-best 3.03 team ERA. Staff ‘ace’ Roy Halladay will be on the mound tonight for Philadelphia. He is 9-3 this season with an ERA of 2.56 in 15 starts. He is 2-0 against the Cardinals with a 1.13 ERA.
St. Louis is back on top in the NL Central after a 5-4 victory over Kansas City this past Sunday as a 189 home favorite. The Cardinals are now 40-33 overall and have a half game lead over Milwaukee in the division. They are 20-20 on the road and 20-13 at home.
Sunday’s win proved costly as All-Star 1B Albert Pujols was lost for 4-6 weeks with a broken arm. His loss will certainly take a chunk of production out of a lineup that was ranked first in the NL in hitting with a team batting average of .272 and second in runs scored with 348.
The Cardinals will send Kyle McClellan to the mound tonight. He is 6-3 with an ERA of 3.96 in 11 previous starts. He is 0-2 in his last two outings; giving up 10 earned runs on 14 hits in just nine total innings of work.
Head-to-head, the Cardinals won both games earlier this season at home, but the series was knotted at four games apiece in 2010. The total has stayed ‘under’ in the last four meetings. Stick with Halladay and the Phillies in this one, as the Cardinals will need some time to adjust without Pujols in the lineup.
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