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

The St. Louis Cardinals (61-51) and Philadelphia Phillies (50-61) will open up a three-game National League series on Friday night at Citizens Bank Park, with the first pitch scheduled for 7:05 ET

St. Louis Cardinals at Philadelphia Phillies 

The Philadelphia Phillies are suffering through a forgettable 2012 season

St. Louis ended up winning five of seven on its recent homestand, including a 3-1 victory over the San Francisco Giants on Thursday afternoon, which moved the club within 5.5 games of the Cincinnati Reds in the NL Central standings.  “This was a good way to end the homestand,” commented Cardinals reliever Mitchell Boggs.  The Cardinals will now visit the City of Brotherly Love for the first time since last year’s playoffs, dropping three of four when hosting a series in May.  St. Louis is 5-8 as a road underdog of +100 to +125, while the “under” is 7-5 in that situation.

Cardinals starting pitcher Kyle Lohse (12-2, 2.79 ERA) has won his last six decisions, including a 3-0 home victory over the Milwaukee Brewers in his last effort, allowing four hits over six shutout frames.  The right-hander is 6-1 with a 3.19 ERA in 12 road outings, issuing 11 walks and striking out 42 batters in 73.1 innings.  In 11 career games versus the Phillies, Lohse has tallied a 3-4 record and 3.38 ERA, including a no-decision effort in a 5-3 home loss on May 25 (6.1 IP, 2 ER).

Philadelphia battled back from a five-run deficit only to ultimately drop a 12-6 decision to the Atlanta Braves on Wednesday, as the club continues to sit at the bottom of the NL East division.  The Phillies are hoping that first baseman Ryan Howard can show signs of his old self down the stretch, hitting just .213 in 26 games this season, as he battles back from a left Achilles injury.  Philadelphia is 6-6 after a day off this season, with the “over” going 9-3 in that situation.

Phillies starting pitcher Roy Halladay (5-6, 4.02 ERA) earned a 3-0 home victory over the Arizona Diamondbacks in his last outing, allowing three hits over seven shutout innings.  The right-hander is 2-3 with a 3.64 ERA in seven home outings, issuing eight walks and striking out 39 batters in 47 frames.  In five career games versus the Cardinals, Halladay has compiled an even 2-2 mark and 3.09 ERA.

Sports bettors will likely back the Phillies due to their 19-7 mark in series openers with Halladay on the mound, while the Cardinals are 0-4 in their last four games as a road underdog.

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