Philadelphia Phillies (23-16 SU 16-18 O/U) at St. Louis Cardinals (22-17 SU 14-21 O/U)
MLB: Thursday, May 17, 2018 at 7:15 p.m. ET
The Phillies have been playing well as of late and they are right with the Atlanta Braves in the tight NL East race. Their lineup ranks in the middle of the pack in the Majors when it comes to runs scored and the pitching has been the strength of the team so far on the season ranking in the top five in the Majors in team ERA.
Talk about tight in the NL Central four teams are in the mix for first place and the Cardinals are one of them. However, they have fallen on hard times as of late and in a recent seven games stretch they lost five games. St. Louis has had issues crossing the plate this season, but their pitching has gotten it done and that has kept them in the division race.
3rd time is the charm
Vince Velasquez (3-4 5.05 ERA) gets the starting nod in this opening game and the Phillies have won his last three starts and they hope the 3rd time is the charm. In his last start, he gave up three earned runs on five hits in six innings of work in a 6-3 win over the San Francisco Giants. After losing three in a row with him on the hill the Phillies have won his last two starts where he has gone 11 innings and given up four earned runs on only four hits. Velasquez has had control issues and issues giving up the long ball this season, as in his last four starts he has given up seven HR and issued nine walks. This game is his first start against the Phillies this season and overall St. Louis has lost 23 of this last 33 starts and they have lost 15 of his last 21 starts facing a team with a winning record. Odubel Herrera leads the Majors in batting average and Maikel Franco leads Philly in both HR and RBI.
Once again Weaver
Luke Weaver (3-2 4.91 ERA) goes for the Cardinals in this game and they hope he can repeat his last start. In his last outing he did not give up any earned runs and he only allowed four hits in five innings in a 9-5 win over the San Diego Padres. St. Louis has won his last two starts after losing three in a row with him on the hill and previous to the last start he had given up four earned runs in three straight starts. In his last five starts, Weaver only has notched one win, but the Cardinals have won 12 of his last 17 starts. Tommy Pham leads the club batting .308, Paul DeJong lead them with eight HR, and Jose Martinez leads them with 22 RBI. Pham has seen his batting average drop nearly 30 points in the last 10 games and in May he is hovering around .220.
The Philadelphia Phillies are:
- 10-1 in their last 11 vs. National League Central
- 5-1 in their last 6 games vs. a right-handed starter
- 5-1 in their last 6 overall.
The St. Louis Cardinals are:
- 1-4 in their last 5 games vs. a right-handed starter
Weaver had a good start in his last game after being less than stellar in his previous few starts and he will regress in this game. The Phillies will get to Weaver in this game and take this NL match up and continue their impressive run on the young season.