Free MLB Pick: Cardinals at Phillies

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The following complimentary selection and analysis is one of our baseball picks for April 19 and a sample of what clients can expect from SMPS on a daily basis. Win or lose, our team feels the value lies with the Cardinals tonight and are risking 2% of bankroll on them.

St. Louis Cardinals at Philadelphia Phillies

This is an interesting match-up tonight. Simply looking at where the line for this game has set up and seeing Roy Halladay as an underdog is intriguing. It’s not to often that you get a pitcher such as Halladay slated in the underdog role and when you do, it is always worth giving him a second look. This season however, it appears that there is a different Roy Halladay on the mound.

So far, Halladay has allowed 17 hits and 13 earned runs in over 15 innings of work. This has given him a 1-2 record and a 7.63 ERA to start the season! Halladay has also surrendered 3 home-runs this season and has struck out 14 batters.

The Cardinals counter with lefty Jaime Garcia. Garcia is off to a nice start this season going 1-0 with a 1.86 ERA. Garcia had gone 19.3 innings and given up 4 earned runs on 15 hits with 2 homeruns. He has also struck out 19 batters to start the season.

There is always more to a baseball game than simple pitching match-ups however and that is where I believe the major difference in this game lies. Philadelphia has simply not produced the offense needed in critical times to get runners past home plate. In last night’s game, the Phillies had a combined 13 hits among them and yet were only able to get 3 runs on the scoreboard. Three runs in this league, the way that a majority of the teams are scoring to start the season is just not enough to get the job done. A team’s pitching staff can be absolutely superb for the game but if a team doesn’t offer their pitcher any support, that effort is almost all for nothing.

Philadelphia has been struggling on offense and that has caused them to drop their last 4 games (and 5 of 6). During this losing streak Philadelphia is only averaging 1.67 runs per game! Even if the pitching is superior, it is not often that 1 or 2 runs win a ball game. Philadelphia has also struggled against left handed pitchers in the past. This season they are 0-1 against lefties, scoring just 2 runs per game.

St Louis on the other hand is one of the higher scoring teams in the league this season. They are averaging 5.5 runs per game, 5.7 on the road and 6.1 against right handed pitchers! As a team, St Louis is batting .258 against right handed pitchers.

While it is tempting to look at a pitcher like Halladay and believe there is value backing him as a home underdog, I believe the line is where it is at for a reason and the value actually lies with the Cardinals in this case. St Louis is the team that has showed the most consistency between the two thus far and the ability to put runs on the board. Halladay’s numbers won’t stay this poor for the season but while both he and the Phillies as a whole are struggling, St Louis looks like the correct side here.

In terms of trends, there are plenty that back the Cardinals in this match-up:

· The Cardinals are 4-2 in their last 6 games when playing on the road against Philadelphia.
· The Cardinals are 4-1 in their last 5 games on the road.
· The Cardinals have won 6 out of their last 8 games.
· Philadelphia is 1-5 in its last 6 games.
· Philadelphia has only won 3 of its last 9 home games.

Take St Louis Cardinals on the moneyline (-115) against Phildelphia Phillies risking 2% (Garcia and Halladay must start)

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