The Philadelphia Phillies will look to bring out the brooms on Thursday, with an opportunity to sweep the St. Louis Cardinals in three games. The Phillies walloped the Cardinals on Wednesday night, as they stomped St. Louis into the ground. The Phillies are in a good position in the NL East, with their lead growing on the Atlanta Braves.
Atlanta got embarrassed against the Nationals by a score of 14-4, so it’s a 3-game lead in the division for Philadelphia going into Thursday. The Phillies own a record of 33-22 after beating the Cardinals in two straight days. The Cardinals were without Yadier Molina on Wednesday with a bruised hand.
It doesn’t appear to be a serious injury, but the Cardinals are going to be cautious instead of rushing him back. It’s easy to turn a minor hand injury into a long-term injury. Molina wasn’t going to save the Cardinals yesterday. No one was against the barrage of runs the Phillies were throwing at them. Bryce Harper was the player of the night, as he brought in 4 runners for a total of 6 RBI’s in the last two games for him.
He can get hot on the drop of a hat and the Phillies are hoping that this is a sign of things to come for Harper. When he’s playing at his full potential, there isn’t a team in the NL East that will be able to compete with them. It would be awfully difficult, because when Harper is swinging the bat, results like last night tend to happen. Two young hurlers, Dakota Hudson and Jared Eickhoff, will take the spotlight on the hill Thursday afternoon in Philadelphia. Head below for our free Cardinals vs. Phillies pick.
St. Louis Cardinals vs. Philadelphia Phillies Pick:
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The Phillies are winners in five of their last six games after the win last night. They put things on cruise control after they got up 11-1. There wasn’t any reason to strain their bullpen up that many runs. Their relievers have been banged up recently, so conserving them was a smart move. Aaron Nola went 7 strong innings allowing just 1 earned run. Juan Nicasio provided the Cardinals with faint hope, as they scored 3 on him, though JD Hammer closed the door in the 9th with a 1-2-3 inning.
Jared Eickhoff hopes to get back on track after hitting some turbulence recently. He hasn’t been on track in his last three outings, as he’s gotten hit pretty good for a 9.75 ERA against the Brewers twice and Rockies. The Cardinals don’t have the offensive punch of either team, so Eickhoff is looking for some relief on Thursday afternoon.
He’s also been more efficient at home with an ERA of 3.60 and 1.08 WHIP compared to a 4.24 ERA and 1.35 WHIP on the road. Eickhoff was outstanding in his most recent effort against the Cards, shutting them down for just 3 hits and no runs in a 5-0 win for the Phillies on May 8th. St. Louis are hitting .219 against Eickhoff in 64 at-bats. Molina is hitting .400 against him in 5 at-bats, but is anticipated to sit this one out, too.
The Phillies have seen Dakota Hudson in 20 appearances at the plate and are hitting .300 with a .417 OBP. Harper is 2-for-2 with a home run against him in his career. This is his first as a starter, having appeared in 26 games as a reliever last season.
Hudson has had most of his issues flare up on him when he heads on the road. He owns an ERA of 5.23 on the road as opposed to a 3.58 ERA at home. Keeping runners off the bases must be a priority for him, which hasn’t been the case thus far. He has a 1.63 WHIP and .362 OBA overall on the year. Expect the Phillies to notch another win on Thursday en route to a sweep of the Cardinals.