Phillies vs. Cardinals
Well, that was a wild way to have a Game 1 end in St. Louis. Rather than space out the scoring everything happened for the Phillies in the ninth inning. They put up six runs and won the game 6-3. It was 2-0 heading into the ninth frame. Sometimes, especially in the playoffs, those last three outs are the hardest.
Today, Aaron Nola looks to close out the series. The Phillies struggled to get into the playoffs and after a surprising Game 1 win, they have a chance to win the Wild Card Round. Nola had a pretty strong season overall, even if his win-loss record doesn’t reflect that. He was able to get through over 200 innings and produced a 3.25 ERA. He also took it up a notch when the Phillies needed him most – he was able to go 34.1 innings and allowed just nine earned runs over September and October. Eight of those runs came in two of the six starts. He was hit hard by the Cardinals in his one start against them this season, a seven-inning outing where he allowed seven hits and five earned runs.
I’ve been pro-Miles Mikolas all season. For a guy that is probably nothing better than a number two option, or even a third option in a rotation, my support for him is probably unjustified. Still, one of the main reasons I like searching for his games are due to his strong home ERA. AT home he has a 2.38 ERA and, on the road, he has a 4.10. Luckily for the Cardinals, this game is a home start. The other good news, he has had the Phillies number this year. In two starts, he has covered 12.2 innings and allowed just three earned runs. Only one of those runs came in his home start against them. He, too, turned in a strong September with four of his five starts being quality starts for the Cardinals.
The Cardinals obviously need to win this game. Yesterday was a heartbreaker, but it was encouraging to see them score a run in the bottom of the ninth. They didn’t just roll over. I think the Phillies are, and should be, confident they can close it out. But, I think Mikolas gives the Cardinals the edge here. Play them on the moneyline at -105.
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