Both the St. Louis Cardinals and Philadelphia Phillies have cooled off after hot starts to the 2021 MLB season. The Cardinals have dropped four of their last five while the Phillies have lost five of six.
Each team will look to build some momentum when they open a three-game set at Citizens Bank Park, where Zach Eflin and the Phills will be slight favorites as he toes the rubber against Carlos Martinez and the Cards.
Check out our free MLB picks and predictions for Cardinals vs. Cardinals on Friday, April 16, with the first pitch scheduled for 7:05 p.m. ET.
Cardinals vs Phillies odds
Odds via the Covers Line, an average comprised of odds from multiple sportsbooks.
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MLB sharp money and line movement reportBy Patrick Everson
Philadelphia landed on TwinSpires' odds board at -125 and quickly advanced to -135 on the way to -148, where the line rests at 4:15 p.m. ET. Moneyline ticket count is 3/1 and moneyline cash 5/1 on the Phillies. The total opened at 9 (Over -120) and ticked down a couple of pennies to Over -118, with 58 percent of tickets on the Over and 66 percent of money on the Under.Check out the full line movement for this game
Cardinals vs Phillies betting preview
Carlos Martinez (0-2, 6.30 ERA): Martinez is getting another chance to be a starter after a rough 2020 and spending 2019 as a reliable reliever, notching 24 saves. But the results in 2021 have been a little underwhelming for the former two-time All-star. The Cards’ veteran has allowed seven runs on 12 hits in 10 innings of work over his first two starts. He’ll need to improve if he wants to keep his spot in the Cardinals’ rotation.
Zach Eflin (0-0, 7.56 ERA): Eflin has carried his solid performance in 2020 over to this season. The right-hander has allowed five runs on 11 hits over 13 innings overwork in his first two starts this season (both against the Braves). Eflin uses mostly his sinker and slider to get outs but mixes in a curve, a four-seamer, and a change for good measure.
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Cardinals: Archie Bradley RP (Out).
Phillies: Tyler O'Neill OF (Out), Harrison Bader CF (Out).
Find our latest MLB injury reports.
Betting trend to know
The Over is 6-0 in Carlos Martinez's last six starts. Find more MLB betting trends for Cardinals vs. Phillies.
The Cardinals’ mini-slump has been fueled by poor pitching. St. Louis has allowed 32 runs over its last five games dropping the team ERA to 5.09 for the season, good for 25th in the majors, with a team WHIP of 1.47 ranking 28th.
Things probably won’t get much better with Martinez on the mound, who still hasn’t found his old magic in his second go-around as a starter. The right-hander is just finding too much of the plate with his fastball and cutter and as a result, he has gotten hit hard.
While he faces a Phillies lineup that is struggling to score runs right now, they are still hitting for a decent average against right-handers and have the talent and depth to break out at any time.
As noted, the Phillies' slump on the other hand is due to their silent bats, scoring just 16 runs in the last six games, but when you consider Eflin’s solid start to the season and the vastly improved Phillies bullpen, it’s hard not to like the home team as favorites in this one.
PREDICTION: Phillies (-130)
While the side in this matchup is more of a coin flip considering each team’s respective struggles, the total seems a little more straightforward.
It’s more than likely that Martinez gives up a handful of runs, even to a slumping Phillies’ offense. Then he hands the ball off to a bullpen that is middle-of-the-pack raking 18th in ERA and WHIP. While the Phillies aren’t hitting just now, that lineup is still dangerous.
It's been the Cardinals’ offense that has carried the team to this point. They rank sixth in the Big Leagues in scoring, plating 5.09 runs per game, and are ninth when it comes to home runs per game. Eflin has been solid but has given up two long balls this season.
These teams should take down this number in this matchup.
PREDICTION: Over 9 (-110)
Cardinals vs Phillies betting card
- Phillies (-130)
- Over 9 (-110)
Picks made on 04/15/2021 at 10:00 p.m. ET.
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