St. Louis Cardinals -120 at Philadelphia Phillies +112 (Total: 7.5)
Kyle Lohse (12-2, 2.79 ERA) vs. Roy Halliday (5-6, 4.02 ERA)
On name recognition alone, this might seem like a lopsided pitching matchup in the Phillies favor. However, when you take a quick glance at the numbers, you’ll find it is relatively lopsided… just not in the direction many casual baseball fans’ first inclination leans them. I love situations like this froma wagering perspective, because it is often the casual fan’s first impressions that provide a slightly tighter or wider line than is merited. So let’s dig inside tonight’s matchup and see where an advantage can be exploited.
For the Cardinals, things have gotten a little more energized this week. With the Reds mired in a five-game losing streak the Cardinals have made up three games and enter tonight’s play only five games back in the NL Central and just two games back of the Pirates in the wildcard chase. Tonight, they send one of the best pitchers in the National League, Kyle Lohse, to the mound. Lohse has been especially brilliant over his last twelve outings. Eleven of twelve have been quality starts with a 2.36 ERA and allowing just a .216 batting average.
For Roy Halliday and the Phillies, it has been an equally disappointing 2012. Halliday enters at just 5-6 with an ERA just over 4.00. His WHIP has been very good, 1.13 is among league leaders, but his ERA has ballooned and despite decent run support (nearly four runs per game on average) his team is just 7-8 in games he has started.
The Phillies took three of four against St. Louis earlier this season, but that was a long time ago; before Shane Victorino and Hunter Pence were dealt, and before the certainty of a losing, non-playoff season had sunk in around Philadelphia. The Phillies have been decent since the break, and have played ok lately as well (5-5 in their last ten games), but this is far from the team one would expect to find when first see “Roy Halliday pitching at home” and therefore banking on an easy win.
The Cardinals have been better in all three areas this season; hitting, pitching and fielding, and tonight they send a pitcher they are 16-7 behind this season. It makes for a compelling case to back the Cards, and when you look at the slim line and price you’ll have to pay for it, it becomes a good value pick as well.
Free Pick: St. Louis Cardinals to WIN -120