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Phillies vs. Cardinals, 8:15 ET
There are only a few games left for the regular season of the MLB, but we are ready to take them head on. Baseball has been one of my better sports over the years, but this year was one of the more average seasons I’ve had. If I didn’t have plus money wins or multi-unit winners, I’d be juiced down on the season, but I’ve kept it under control and it has been essentially a wash this year. Let’s try and go on a run as we play a game between the Phillies and Cardinals.
The Phillies are once again going to make the playoffs, and once again it will be as a Wild Card winner. Last season, the Phillies were able to win the Wild Card and go on a magnificent run into the World Series where they ultimately ran out of gas against the Astros. They have a pretty unique team as they have a strange leadoff hitter in Kyle Schwarber (.198 average, 43 homers, and almost 100 RBIs). They have a big name signing in the offseason who struggled then became one of the hottest hitters in baseball. They lost their superstar and he came back from injury. It has been up and down, but they remain one of the best teams in the National League this season. Tonight, they get one of their better pitchers, Aaron Nola, taking the ball. Nola isn’t having a really good season, as he has the second-highest ERA of his career at this point. His road ERA is also very bad with a 5.66 ERA. He has also struggled quite a bit in September has he has allowed 11 earned runs over nine innings in two starts. His last good outing came against the same team he faces tonight – he went seven innings, in Philly, and allowed just one hit.
The Cardinals are one of the teams that I had very high faith in this season going into it, and they were absolute trash. You can debate all you want who is the most disappointing team of the year, but the Cardinals are by far the biggest to me. They are likely to finish in last place of the division. The only positive is that they’ve played pretty well over their last ten games. The last time the Cardinals took on the Phillies, they were swept. Now that they are back home, there should be a bit more of a chance for a victory, but facing Nola is not always an easy thing to do. They are sending out Zack Thompson to the mound. He’s allowed three earned runs in both of the starts this month and the Cardinals have won the past four games he’s pitched in. About mid-August he was stretched out to be a starter and has performed pretty well in the role. There have only been eight at-bats against Thompson from Phillies hitters, but none of them have gotten a hit off of him.
I have to give a bit of credit to Thompson, he is clearly putting the Cardinals in a position where they can win games that he starts. I do like the way he has been throwing the ball, but it is very hard to back St. Louis at this point. Nola really hasn’t pitched very well, but sometimes what you need is to face a team like this that has essentially given up on the season. The Cardinals still have solid hitters in their lineup, but I’m taking the better team, the one that still is in contention, and has the better pitcher (even if he hasn’t been lately). I’ll take the Phillies at -125.
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