Suddenly Hot Cardinals Worth an Underdog Bet

Cardinals vs Phillies Preview: Can St. Louis Upset Philly?

During the long baseball season, every team goes through its ups and downs, and, often, right when it feels like a team is on the verge of truly falling apart, it can bounce right back — with the opposing being true as well. That has certainly been the case for both the St. Louis Cardinals and Philadelphia Phillies, who match up this weekend for three games in Philadelphia.

This Cardinals vs Phillies preview notes that the Phillies are sizable -180 moneyline favorites in Friday’s opener, for which the total is 8.5 runs.

Sitting at 15-24 a few weeks ago, the Cardinals looked dead in the water with their offense in a huge slump and star catcher Wilson Contreras out for a while with a broken arm. But, since then, St. Louis has climbed back to .500 by winning 12 of its last 15 games, including five consecutive series wins. Considering how good value you can still get on them even with how hot they’ve been, the Cardinals are one of the MLB best bets today.

Seven days ago, the Phillies were 37-14 with the best record in baseball. They hadn’t lost a series since mid-April and were looking unbeatable, with MLB’s most consistent starting rotation and a lineup that can hurt opposing teams from top to bottom.

Philadelphia has lost four of six, though, including a rough series loss to the lowly Colorado Rockies. Their cushion in the NL East is still sizable but the Phillies still want to get back on track.

Cardinals logo Cardinals vs Phillies Phillies logo

Records: St. Louis Cardinals (27-27), Philadelphia Phillies (39-18)

Location: Citizens Bank Park, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Streaming: NSPA

Cardinals’ Bats Are Waking Up

Despite Nolan Arenado and Paul Goldschmidt still playing well below their career marks (and Tommy Edman having yet to make his season debut due to injury), St. Louis’ younger bats have perked up and are helping the Cardinals quickly gain ground in the NL Central and the NL Wild Card picture.

Any Cardinals vs Phillies preview has to discuss how impressive backup catcher Iván Herrera has been after being thrust into a starting role due to the Contreras injury.

Also, Nolan Gorman is finally showing off the power that made him a huge prospect — he hit his 10th home run on Wednesday — while Lars Nootbar, Alec Burleson, and Masyn Winn are all other twenty-somethings who have contributed in a big way for Oliver Marmol’s team. For long stretches of the season, St. Louis simply couldn’t generate runs outside of Contreras. Now, they’re getting production from up and down the roster.

So, when Goldschmidt and Arenado inevitably get hot — Goldschmidt has been much better as of late but still isn’t hitting with as much power as he has done his whole career — the Cardinals could be a legitimately difficult team to face on a nightly basis. This is especially true because their rotation, anchored by Cy Young candidate Sonny Gray and solid veterans Lance Lynn and Kyle Gibson, has given them really good MLB results during this stretch of good play.

Phillies’ Rotation Has Been Shaky

While the Phillies are still much better than they would be if they swapped with the St. Louis Cardinals in the standings, there are still reasons to be a little concerned with Philadelphia’s play. The Phillies’ rotation has anchored this team throughout the season but some of the numbers they were getting from guys like Ranger Suárez, Zack Wheeler, and Christopher Sánchez just didn’t seem sustainable.

And, lo and behold, some of those guys have been struggling in recent starts — coinciding with this mini-slide.

It helps when the lineup is first in baseball in runs scored but this Philadelphia team is built around pitching as a Cardinals vs Phillies preview should analyze. Without those lights-out starts against Colorado and San Francisco, the bullpen was tested a bit more than usual and the offense had to try and come-from-behind, which it hasn’t had to do very often this year.

The Phillies will throw Aaron Nola, Suárez, and the much-maligned Taijuan Walker against the Cardinals. Both Suárez and Walker were hit hard in their last starts and Walker hasn’t really pitched well all season since coming back from injury. This start could be a tryout for him and if it goes poorly again, Philadelphia might turn back to Spencer Turnbull in the rotation. For the first time all year, there’s a bit of uncertainty with the Phillies‘ pitching staff.

Take Cardinals To Upset Phillies

With the Phillies big -178 moneyline favorites on Friday, the Cardinals are +165 as straight-up underdogs. That’s not a bad bet to take with Miles Mikolas facing off against Aaron Nola. Nola has been his usual reliable self while Mikolas’ season-long numbers are ugly. But, the St. Louis veteran has allowed three runs or fewer in five of his last six starts so he is figuring some things out. The Cardinals are a nice value pick.

Consider going with the under 8.5 runs at -120 too with how the respective starters have been dealing as of late.

For MLB betting news, odds analysis, and more, visit Point Spreads Sports Magazine.

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