Phillies vs Cardinals MLB Betting + Handicapping Picks
In another rematch of the 2011 National League Division series, the St. Louis Cardinals will look to repeat their dismantling of the visiting Philadelphia Phillies in Game 2 of a three-game series that continues on Friday night.
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PHI: Cliff Lee (0-2, 2.66 ERA ) v STL: Kyle Lohse (5-1, 2.91 ERA)
Date/Time: Friday, May 25, 2012, 8:15 PM ET
Venue: Busch Stadium, St. Louis, MO.
Broadcast: CSN-Philadelphia / FOX Sports Midwest
However, the struggling Phillies didn’t forget that the Cards eliminated them from postseason play last year on their way to a World Series Title, and snapped their adversaries three-game win streak with a 10-9 win on Thursday.
The Phillies who have struggled without slugger Ryan Howard, Jim Thome, and Chase Utley–all on the DL– exploded for a season-high 18 hits in the opener.
Still the Phils are mired in last place in the NL East, while St. Louis remains atop the NL behind slugger Carlos Beltran who belted his National League-leading 14th homer as the Cardinals cruised to a 6-3 win over the Padres on Wednesday.
Beltran has been torching the competition despite a knee injury which sidelined him for four starts earlier in the year. He went 3-for-5 in Game 1, with an RBI.
Meanwhile, Philadelphia got back shortstop Jimmy Rollins on Thursday after sitting out three games following the birth of his child on Sunday. Rollins went 2-for-6.
Catcher Carlos Ruiz also made the lineup and went 3-for-5 to raise his average to .366.on Thursday, after suffering a right wrist contusion in Wednesday’s 4-1 win over Washington.
Now the Phils will try to continue their one-game win streak by handing the ball to veteran starter Cliff Lee who had been good until giving up season highs in runs (five) and hits (nine) in seven innings during the Phillies’ 5-1 loss to Boston in an interleague meeting last Sunday.
The 33-year old lefty was making just his sixth start of the season after spending time on the disabled list with a strained oblique, and remains winless on the year.
An American League Cy Young winner in 2008, Lee has been pitching well this season, but has not received quality run support from the Phillies offense or bullpen support other times.
He is nevertheless, sporting a shiny 0.56 ERA on the road this year.
Starting opposite of Lee will be Cardinals’ veteran Kyle Lohse who gave up at least seven hits for the fourth straight start on Sunday night against the Dodgers.
The 33-year old right-hander posted a 0.99 ERA over his first four starts this season, but since then has allowed 15 earned runs in 28 1/3 innings.
In two starts against Philadelphia a year ago, Lohse went 1-1 with a 1.76 ERA. Not so good news for an anemic Phillies line up.
Matt’s Free Prediction: Philadelphia- With Lohse struggling, if Lee can get the run support that Blanton got in the opener on Thursday, the Phillies win this one.