After taking two of the first three games, the Philadelphia Phillies will look to make it three out of four — and get back above .500 — in a matinee matchup against the St. Louis Cardinals.
Oddsmakers opened Philly as a sizeable MLB betting road favorite with its ace on the mound, but does the status of a Phillies superstar hitter give us reason to pause?
Find out in our best free MLB picks and predictions for Phillies vs. Cardinals on Thursday, April 29 with first pitch set for 1:15 p.m. ET.
Phillies vs Cardinals 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
As of noon ET, Philadelphia is down to a modest -113 favorite at DraftKings, after opening -143 Thursday night. Bryce Harper is out today, after taking a 97 mph fastball to the face Wednesday night. The Phillies are taking 60 percent of bets and 64 percent of cash on the moneyline. The total opened at 7 (Under -114) and is now 7 (Over -118), with the Over drawing 68 percent of bets/72 percent of money.Check out the full line movement for this game
Phillies vs Cardinals betting preview
Aaron Nola (2-1, 2.84 ERA): The Phillies' ace is off to another strong start, with a 0.98 WHIP and a 2.46 FIP through five starts. He's throwing his fastball more than ever and it's getting results, as opponents are hitting a paltry .167 off his four-seamer. Nola has already faced the Cards once, back on April 18, when he threw a two-hit shutout with 10 strikeouts and nary a walk.
Kwang-hyun Kim (1-0, 4.15 ERA): Where Nola's fastball has been dominant, Kim would do better to throw his less. Predominantly a fastball-slider pitcher, foes have been tapping Kim's "gas" (he averages 89.8 mph on his FB) up for a .400 average, whereas opponents are hitting just .125 off his slider. The 32-year-old lefty, who is making his third start of the season, gave up three runs and five hits over three innings in his season debut against the Phils on April 17 but bounced back with 5 2-3 innings of one-run ball (with eight Ks) against Cincinnati his last time out.
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Phillies: Bryce Harper OF (Questionable), Didi Gregorius SS (Questionable), Jean Segura 2B (Out), Archie Bradley RP (Out).
Cardinals: Yadier Molina C (Out), Harrison Bader OF (Out).
Find our latest MLB injury reports.
Betting trend to know
The Cardinals are 1-6 in their last seven games as an underdog. Find more MLB betting trends for Phillies vs. Cardinals.
Star outfielder Bryce Harper took a 96.9 mph fastball to the face in the sixth inning of last night's game (and immediately exited the contest), then shortstop Didi Gregorius got plunked in the ribs with a 94 mph heater as the very next batter. While Gregorius stayed in the game, manager Joe Girardi said he had some soreness after the game and will likely undergo medical imaging today.
Considering the short turnaround from last night to today's game — and a weekend set with division-rival New York on tap — we wouldn't be shocked if both of these lefty bats sit out today's matinee.
Losing those two big bats obviously isn't preferred, but today is as good a day as any to have them sit. Harper and Gregorius are hitting .222 and .211, respectively, off southpaws this year while Kim has struck out six of the 11 lefties he's faced this season.
Philadelphia still has All-Star catcher J.T. Realmuto (.333 BA vs. LHP), basher Rhys Hoskins (.360, 3 HR), and youngster Alec Bohm (.316, 2 HR) to drive the offense today, along with its ace Nola on the mound, who has already shut down the Cards once this season and has a career .157 opponent BA against the Redbirds.
Early betting action is favoring St. Louis, but that's actually working in our favor. We'll happily take the Phils, with Nola on the hill and a number of capable bats still in the lineup, with less juice.
PREDICTION: Philadelphia (-125)
The total has gone Under in four straight head-to-head meetings between these teams, although the total sat at 8.5 for each of the first three games of this series—and today's number is a paltry 7.
Nola has a 1.37 ERA in three home starts this season, but that balloons up to 5.25 in his two road outings. While we don't expect Nola to get rocked by a Cardinals team that is 22nd in the league in batting average, it's not a stretch to see him give up 2-3 runs.
That means we just need four or five runs from the Phillies, which might seem difficult as they're the fifth-lowest scoring offense in baseball, but with a number of righty bats in the lineup today to face Kim — and possibly no Harper and Gregorius, who are lefties that struggle in same-side matchups — there's reason to believe they can scratch out a couple of extra runs today.
Add in that the Phillies and the Cardinals are both in the bottom half of the league in bullpen FIP, and we could see an extra run or two in the later innings. Let's go over today's low total.
PREDICTION: Over 7 (-105)
Phillies vs Cardinals betting card
- Philadelphia (-125)
- Over 7 (-105)
Picks made on 4/29/2021 at 9:58 a.m. ET
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