St. Louis Cardinals vs Philadelphia Phillies

St. Louis Cardinals vs Philadelphia Phillies | 2021 MLB Expert Analysis

Written by on April 16, 2021

It’s a pair of 6-6 teams that expect to be in the 2021 postseason when the St. Louis Cardinals open a weekend series at the Philadelphia Phillies on Friday night. Both come had Thursday off and thus will have full bullpens available. The Phils are favored on the MLB odds.

How to Bet Cardinals at Phillies MLB Odds & TV Info

  • When: Friday, 7:05 PM ET
  • Where: Citizens Bank Park
  • Probable pitchers (away/home): Carlos Martinez/Zach Eflin
  • TV: MLB Extra Innings

Why Bet on St. Louis? | 2021 MLB Expert Analysis 

St. Louis enters having lost four of five as the Cards were beaten 6-0 at home by Washington on Wednesday to lose that series. Joe Ross pitched six sharp innings and the Nationals threw their first-ever regular-season shutout at Busch Stadium. Ross improved to 3-0 in four career starts against the Cardinals. The shutout came less than 24 hours after the Cardinals scored 14 runs in a 14-3 win Tuesday.

Yadier Molina went 1-for-4 while catching his 2,000th career game Wednesday. Molina became the sixth major leaguer to catch 2,000 games, joining Ivan Rodriguez (2,427), Carlos Fisk (2,226), Bob Boone (2,225), Gary Carter (2,056) and Jason Kendall (2,025).

Hall of Famer Gabby Hartnett ranks 2nd to Molina in career games caught for any franchise (1,754 for Chicago Cubs), while Hall of Famer Johnny Bench ranks 2nd to Molina in most career games caught for only one team (1,743 for Cincinnati Reds).

Struggling shortstop Paul DeJong got the game off. Since his two-homer game back on April 3 against the Marlins, DeJong has gone 2-for-31 (.065) with zero extra-base hits and 15 strikeouts. He should start Friday.

It’s Carlos Martinez (0-2, 6.30) on the mound here. Martinez allowed three runs on eight hits over five innings to take the loss last Saturday vs the Brewers. The 29-year-old got into trouble in the first inning, allowing four singles but was able to walk away with just one run allowed. Martinez was able to work his way through the next several innings unharmed until a two-run blast by Avisail Garcia in the fifth.

Two turns through the rotation, no Cardinals starter was more reliable than Martínez by durability standards as he was the only one to pitch at least five innings each start. Martinez will make his first start against the Phillies since 2017, and just his 2nd career start at Citizens Bank Park. His only career start at Philadelphia came on 6/22/17 in a 5-1 defeat. Martinez did throw a complete-game four-hit shutout against the Phillies on 6/10/17 at Busch Stadium, striking out 11.

Why Bet on Philadelphia? | 2021 MLB Expert Analysis 

Since 2018, the Phillies are 118-82 at Citizens Bank Park, 36 games over the .500 mark with a .590 winning percentage that ranks fourth among all NL teams behind the Dodgers (.657), Cubs (.614) and Brewers (.599).

The Phillies enter on a three-game skid – they were supposed to finish a series at the Mets on Thursday but it was rained out. Outfielder Andrew McCutchen was to sit Thursday but should play Friday. He’s struggled at the plate thus far, hitting .139/.279/.278 in 43 plate appearances.

The Phils are without another outfielder, Adam Haseley, who has decided to leave the team for personal reasons for an undetermined amount of time, making the way for Mickey Moniak — the first overall pick in the 2016 Draft and the Phillies’ No. 12 prospect — to return to the big leagues. Haseley, who has a .190/.190/.238 slash through 21 plate appearances this season, has been placed on the restricted list.

Haseley overcame a groin injury in spring training and secured an opening-day roster spot on the final day of camp. But he got off to a slow start, going 4-for-21 with one extra-base hit in nine games (seven starts) in center field. Manager Joe Girardi said there’s “no timetable” for Haseley’s return. He also wouldn’t say when he expects to see Haseley again.

It’s Zach Eflin (0-0, 3.46) on the mound – he was to start Thursday. Eflin gave up four runs over six innings while not qualifying for a decision last Saturday against the Braves.  Eflin allowed seven hits, and he walked one with just two strikeouts. The 27-year-old right-hander struggled from the start as he allowed three runs in the first; including a two-run homer to Freddie Freeman.

In roughly the same number of starts at home (41) and on the road (45) in his career, Eflin’s road ERA of 5.23 is well over a run higher than his home mark of 3.99.

Expert Prediction

  • Phillies 4, Cardinals 3
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