Philadelphia Phillies at St. Louis Cardinals Pro Baseball Picks

The Philadelphia Phillies aim for a three-game series sweep over the St. Louis Cardinals in Thursday night’s only National League contest at Busch Stadium

Philadelphia Phillies at St. Louis Cardinals

St. Louis Cardinals SP Chris Carpenter is 1-7 with a 4.47 ERA in 15 starts

Philadelphia continues to lead Atlanta by 4 1/2 games in the National League East race and will look to improve upon its 13-7 record in June with tonight’s series finale against St. Louis.  The Phillies offense continues to be led by first baseman Ryan Howard, who launched his 16th homer of the year last night, continuing his great hitting at tonight’s venue.  Howard, a St. Louis native, is a career .373 hitter in 25 games at Busch Stadium.  “It’s just home.  It’s a little different when a guy gets to go back home and play where it all began,” he stated.  “Family, friends, you’re just a lot more comfortable when you come home.”  Philadelphia is 2-7 this season after shutting out its opponent.

Phillies starting pitcher Roy Oswalt is 4-5 with a 3.37 ERA in 12 starts this season and is looking to bounce back from a losing effort last time out.  He allowed four runs and eight hits over 6 1/3 innings in a 4-2 road loss to the Mariners, issuing two walks and striking out three in the process.  The right-hander has registered a 2-3 mark and 3.38 ERA in seven road starts, surrendering two home runs in 37 1/3 innings.  Oswalt will be making his 30th career appearance (29th start) versus the Cardinals, entering with a 9-8 record and 3.15 ERA, including a no-decision effort at Busch Stadium on May 17.

St. Louis wasn’t able to muster up any offense in its first game against a left-handed starter since losing first baseman Albert Pujols to injury.  The loss was the Cardinals’ ninth in 11 games, remaining one-half game behind the Brewers in the National League Central race.  Outfielder Colby Rasmus was also held out of the lineup last night, as he’s 19 for his last 109 and 2 for his last 21.  He will likely be back in the lineup against Oswalt this evening, going 4-for-9 against him in his career.  “He’s looking for something,” said Cardinals manager Tony LaRussa.  “He’ll be back in there against Oswalt.”  St. Louis is 11-16 after getting shutout the last three years.

Cardinals starting pitcher Chris Carpenter is a dismal 1-7 with a 4.47 ERA in 15 starts this season and opponents are hitting .288 against him.  The right-hander hasn’t tallied a victory since May 10 and is coming off a 5-4 losing effort at home to the Royals, giving up five runs (four earned) and 10 hits in eight frames.  Carpenter is winless in seven home outings, but has surrendered just two home runs in 47 innings.  In nine lifetime starts versus the Phillies, he has registered a 5-2 record and 5.08 ERA, including a 7-1 victory in his lone start against them last year.

Bettors will likely back the Cardinals due to their 5-1 mark in Carpenter’s last six starts versus the Phillies, while the Phillies are 1-4 in Oswalt’s last five road outings

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