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MLB: Phillies at Cardinals

The red-hot Cardinals are the favorites tonight against the Phillies, who have only played .500 ball in the last 10 games and are in third place in the NL East.

Philadelphia Phillies (48-43) at St. Louis Cardinals (51-41)

Bovada has the Cardinals posted at -130 with the Phillies at +110 with a run total of 9.

The Cardinals have won five in a row and are back atop the NL Central with a ½ game lead over Cincinnati. Tonight the Red Birds will be going for their first six game win streak in two seasons. The Phillies are 5-5 in their last 10 games and trail the Atlanta Braves by 5.5 games in the NL East.

This season the Cardinals are 31-15 at home, Phillies are 21-25 on the road.

In their last games the Cardinals beat the L.A. Dodgers 5-4 to finish a sweep and the Phillies lost to the Chicago Cubs 11-6.

In losing three of four games to the Cubs in their last series the Phillies did go deep seven times, but only batted .232 as a team.

The Phillies have won four straight games over the Cardinals.

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Taking the mound for the Cardinals tonight is Blake Hawksworth (3-5 4.73 ERA) who in has last outing gave up two earned runs in five innings of work in a win. Kyle Kendrick (5-3 4.44 ERA) is on the hill for the Phillies and in his last outing only pitched one inning and did not give up an earned run in a no-decision.

Hawksworth is 2-2 with a 4.97 ERA in five starts this season. Kendrick is 4-0 with a 1.67 ERA in four career starts versus St. Louis.

The Phillies are only 4-9 in Kendrick’s last 13 road starts.

Albert Pujols (.307 21 HR 64 RBI) should be back in the lineup after missing yesterday’s game with a minor injury. He is hitting only .202 with two homers in 28 career home games against the Phillies.

Ryan Howard is a native of St. Louis and in 17 career games at Busch Stadium he has hit .381 with seven HR’s and 29 RBI’s. Howard is swinging a hot bat with four home runs and eight RBI’s in his last four games.

Philadelphia is 4-0 in their last four games against teams that have a winning record and 1-4 in their last five road games.

St. Louis is 5-0 in their last five home games against teams with a winning record and have won four of their last five games facing a right-hand starter.

The Cardinals are hot and the Phillies are not and St. Louis will run their win streak to six with a win in the opening game in this series.