Phillies Underdogs in Blanton Return

The Phillies are the underdog tonight at home tonight against the Cardinals, who have a rookie on the mound tonight that has looked like an ace while Philadelphia has a pitcher making his first start of the season.

St. Louis Cardinals (17-8) at Philadelphia Phillies (14-10)

Bovada has a moneyline for this game with the Phillies posted at +115 and the visiting Cardinals at -135 with a run total of 9.

Philadelphia re-took the lead in the NL East after winning two of three against the New York Mets this weekend. The Phillies have won two in a row, are 5-5 in their last 10 games, and lead New York by only .5 games in the NL East. St. Louis has played great all season and has the biggest lead in any division by far. The Red Birds have won two in a row, are 7-3 in their last 10 games, and lead the Chicago Cubs by 4.5 games in the NL Central.

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There is a good chance this is an early-season preview of the National League Championship series.

This season the Philadelphia is 5-4 at home and St. Louis is 7-5 on the road.

In their last games, both yesterday, Philadelphia beat New York 11-5 and St. Louis beat Cincinnati 6-0.

Taking the mound for Philadelphia tonight is Joe Blanton (0-0 0.00 ERA), who is making his first start of the season after starting it on the DL. Taking the hill for St. Louis is Jaime Garcia (2-1 1.04 ERA), who had a great start in his last outing giving up zero earned runs in seven innings and getting a win.

Blanton went 12-8 with a 4.05 ERA in 31 starts last season before straining his oblique in spring training and he is 3-0 with an ERA of only 1.71 ERA in three career starts against the Cardinals.

Dating back to last season Philadelphia is 8-3 in Blanton’s last 11 home starts.

Garcia is a rookie, but really has not pitched like one only giving up five earned runs over 26 innings in four starts.

Philadelphia has scored the most runs in the National League and their pitching has been solid giving up the fifth fewest runs in the NL.

The Cardinals are almost the opposite of the Phillies, as their pitching staff has given up the second fewest runs in the NL, as well as having the lowest team ERA, and their offense has scored the seventh most runs in the NL.

Albert Pujols, who won the MVP last year, is off to a great start hitting over .340, is tied for second in the NL with seven HR’s, and ranks third in RBI’s.

St. Louis is 7-1 in their last eight games and Philadelphia is 2-5 in their last 7 games following a win.

In Game 2 of this three games series Brad Penny (3-1 1.56 ERA) is slated to start for the Cardinals and Kyle Kendrick (0-1 7.61 ERA) is slated to start for the Phillies. In the last game of the series St. Louis has a tall task taking on Phillies Ace Roy Halliday (5-1 1.47 ERA) while the Cardinals will have Kyle Lohse (0-1 5.28 ERA) on the hill.