Phillies vs. Cardinals Odds: Wild-Card Series Price, Game 1 Betting Line, Prediction

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The sixth-seeded Philadelphia Phillies and third-seeded St. Louis Cardinals will clash in one of Major League Baseball’s four best-of-three wild-card series starting Friday, with the Cardinals listed as -124 favorites to advance, per series odds at FanDuel. The Phillies can be had for +115 at DraftKings and Points Bet.

Zack Wheeler has been tabbed to start the series opener for the Phillies, with the Cardinals undecided on their pitcher as of this Wednesday publication. The betting line at FanDuel prices Game 1 a pick ’em.

NL Wild-Card Odds: Phillies vs. Cardinals

Phillies -108/Cardinals -108 is the first Game 1 price we’re seeing on Wednesday. Live odds from around the sports betting marketplace are below. Be sure to shop on several sportsbook apps to find the best prices for your wagers.

Road Weary Phillies?

The victor advances to face National League East champion Atlanta, the NL’s second seed, in the best-of-five divisional round.

In the regular season, Philly won four of seven games vs. St. Louis, splitting a four-game series in the Cardinals’ home park. And that’s where all the games take place this weekend.

That means the Phillies’ long road trip continues to its fourth city. Philly closed the regular season on an 11-game journey to Chicago, Washington, and Houston. And If this wild-card matchup extends to Game 3 on Sunday, it will be the longest road trip, at 14 games, for any team this season. If the Phillies advance, that trip will reach a fifth city and 16 games.

phillies cardinals odds
Kyle Schwarber and the Phillies are underdogs vs. the Cardinals, per MLB wild card odds (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

Both teams come into the series riding high, unlike say the New York Mets, who nose-dived into the wild-card round with a late-season collapse.

The Cardinals, who won the Central Division for the first time in three seasons, pulled away from Milwaukee to win that crown. They’ve had plenty of time to rest the weary.

The Phillies, meanwhile, were the last MLB team to clinch a playoff berth, doing so Monday in Houston in beating out Milwaukee for the last wild card. That triumph over the Astros set off a postgame locker-room celebration worthy of a team that just ended an 11-year playoff drought. Let’s hope, though, that the next time the Phillies have such a celebration, manager Rob Thomson pulls the cork on the champagne bottle before trying to take a swig.

And as a post-celebration bonus, the Phillies avoided — intentionally or not — catching the San Diego Padres for the fifth seed in the closing days and having to open with a series in New York against the Mets. NYM won 14 of 19 vs. Philly this season.

But how in the world did a Phillies team that qualified for the playoffs wind up going 0-10 combined against the Texas Rangers and Chicago Cubs? Those teams otherwise were a combined 52 games under .500 entering the last day of play.

Also read: 2022 World Series odds heading into MLB playoffs

Phillies vs Cardinals Pitching Matchups

The Phillies, who shut out the Cardinals three times this season, plan to open with Zack Wheeler (12-7, 2.82 ERA) on Friday. In back-to-back appearances against the Cardinals in early July, he worked 14 innings without allowing a run.

Next up would be Aaron Nola (11-13, 3.25) on Saturday. In Monday’s playoff clincher vs. the Astros, he had a perfect game through 6.2 innings.

As for Game 3, Thomson had said lefty Ranger Suarez would get the start if needed. But on Tuesday, Suarez gave up three homers to Houston in three innings, allowing six runs. So, we’ll wait and see about that start.

As for St. Louis’ well-balanced rotation, manager Oliver Marmol, at 35 the youngest dugout commander in the majors, said he doesn’t yet know who will get the nod, even suggesting he could just pull a name out of a hat.

If he does, veteran Adam Wainwright wouldn’t be a bad pick, for he had his only complete game of the season in a 2-0 loss to Philly on July, going up against Wheeler. But then again, Wainwright has been rocked for four-plus earned runs in five of his past six starts.

In the bullpen, though, the Phillies’ group has the worst ERA among the 12 playoff teams, and one of their many recent closers, Brad Hand, has been hampered by an elbow injury.

At the Plate

On the attack, both teams are relatively similar in stealing bases, batting average, and home runs. But the difference is the Cardinals’ main sluggers (Paul Goldschmidt and Nolan Arenado) also hit for average, as does old guy Albert Pujols, who has 703 career homers, including three his past six games, entering Wednesday’s play and a .500 average in that stretch.

By comparison, Philly’s Kyle Schwarber has 46 homers but is batting .219. But that’s better than his .185 average entering June.

Phillies vs. Cardinals Wild-Card Series Prediction

Can the Phillies overcome their long, long stretch away from home and play well under the playoff spotlight for the first time in more than a decade? Probably not.

The playoff-savvy Cardinals should take care of business in front of the home crowd and move on.

About the Author
Bob Christ

Bob Christ

Bob Christ, based in New Mexico, has been a gaming writer (primarily the NFL) for almost four decades, with his work appearing in publications/websites across North America. He's a big fan of the Arkansas Razorbacks, Philadelphia's Eagles and Phillies, and inexplicably the NHL's Winnipeg Jets.

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