Hyderabad, India (PressExposure) June 24, 2011 -- St. Louis Cardinals vs Philadelphia Phillies MLB Picks: The Philadelphia Phillies will go for the series sweep tonight over the St. Louis Cardinals in the finale of their three-game series at Busch Stadium. The first pitch is scheduled for 8:15 p.m. (ET) and the game will be broadcast nationally on the MLB Network.
Behind solid performances from both Roy Halladay and Cliff Lee, Philadelphia won the first two games of this series by a combined score of 14-2. The Phillies are now 10-2 in their last 12 games and 4.5 games ahead of Atlanta in the NL East. They are 47-28 overall; 28-12 at home and 19-16 on the road.
The two stellar pitching performances were also backed up with some solid run support with Ryan Howard leading the way. His two-run blast on Wednesday night added to his team-high 61 RBI and 16 home runs. Philadelphia's third top-flight pitcher, Roy Oswalt will be on the mound tonight. He has struggled since coming off the DL in mid-May with just one win against four losses in his last six starts. Overall he is 4-5 on the year with a 3.38 ERA.
St. Louis has managed just two runs since Albert Pujols went on the DL after breaking a bone in his forearm in Sunday's 5-4 win over Kansas City as a 189 home favorite. The two losses to Philly have dropped the Cardinals to 40-35 overall and a half game in back of Milwaukee in the NL Central. They are 20-20 on the road and 20-15 at home.
The loss of Pujols for the next month or so puts a major dent in a lineup that is ranked first in the NL in hitting with a team batting average of .270 and second in scoring with 350 runs. St. Louis will rely on Chris Carpenter to try and salvage a win in this series. The right hander has had an extended run of bad luck in compiling a 1-7 record this season. He has a 1.39 WHIP and an ERA of 4.47 in 15 starts and has not won a game since May 10.
This game comes down to which pitcher best can return to form as both are pitching way below their ability. That being said, the best play is the 'over' as this matchup bodes well for both team's lineups. If you have to play the sides, take the Cardinals to pound out enough runs to avoid the sweep.
Odds provided by BTB:
Philadelphia Phillies +105
St. Louis Cardinals -115
Total 8o -110
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