MLB Picks 2012: St. Louis Cardinals vs. Philadelphia Phillies

The St. Louis Cardinals (61-52) and Philadelphia Phillies (51-61) will continue a three-game National League series on Saturday night at Citizens Bank Park, with the first pitch scheduled for 7:05 ET

St. Louis Cardinals at Philadelphia Phillies  

Philadelphia Phillies 2B Chase Utley has hit three home runs in his last seven games

St. Louis has dropped three of four games, including a 3-1 setback on the road to Philadelphia on Friday night, as the club’s offense has sputtered of late.  The Cardinals are still getting production out of outfielder Carlos Beltran, hitting his 28th home run of the year last night, but the wear and tear of the season may start catching up to a veteran player that’s known to be injury prone.  St. Louis is 1-3 as a road underdog of +125 to +150, while the “under” is 2-1 in that situation.

Cardinals starting pitcher Jake Westbrook (11-8, 3.76 ERA) has rattled off four wins in a row, but three of those efforts were at Busch Stadium.  The right-hander is 4-5 with a 3.58 ERA in 10 road outings, with opposing hitters batting .255 against him.  In four career games versus the Phillies, Westbrook has tallied an even 1-1 record and 5.68 ERA, issuing 12 walks and striking out eight batters in 19 frames.

Philadelphia has won four of five games in this season series, as the club tries to build some momentum heading into the 2013 MLB campaign.  The Phillies are hoping that second baseman Chase Utley will be healthy for next year’s run, as he launched his third home run in seven games in last night’s victory.  “That one felt pretty good,” stated Utley after the game.  Philadelphia is 14-7 as a home favorite of -125 to -150, with the “over” going 13-8 in those contests.

Phillies starting pitcher Cliff Lee (2-6, 3.78 ERA) has led the club to three consecutive victories, with the offense providing him 20 runs of support in that span.  The left-hander is 0-4 with a 4.53 ERA in eight home outings, but has issued just eight walks and struck out 61 batters in 57.2 innings.  In five career games versus the Cardinals, Lee has compiled a 3-1 record and 1.93 ERA, including a no-decision effort in a 5-3 road win on May 25 in the series.

Sports bettors will likely back the Phillies due to their 8-0 record as a home favorite, while the Cardinals are 1-6 in Westbrook’s last seven efforts against NL East opponents.

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