Cardinals vs Phillies Odds, Betting Pick | MLB Prediction for Saturday, Aug. 26
Joe Puetz/Getty Images. Pictured: Paul Goldschmidt of the St. Louis Cardinals.
Cardinals vs Phillies Odds
Dakota Hudson (3.95 ERA, 43 and 1/3 IP) will look to build on his 5-0 record Saturday in a tough matchup versus Zack Wheeler (3.70 ERA, 151 IP) and a strong Phillies offense.
Including last night's 7-2 defeat the Cardinals have now dropped seven of their last ten games. Their offensive play has regressed during that span, as they own a wRC+ of only 95 in a stretch coming against below average pitching staffs from the Mets, Pirates, and Athletics.
More bad news struck last night, as Nolan Arenado exited the game due to back tightness. His status moving forwards is unclear, but he could potentially join Lars Nootbaar, Dylan Carlson, and Brendan Donovan on the IL.
Dakota Hudson has had some favorable luck in a number of ways. He owns a 3.95 ERA compared to his 4.96 xERA, and has received 6.40 runs of support per game this season en route to a 5-0 record. He has pitched to an xFIP of 4.48, and allowed a BABIP of .285.
Pitching models are not rating Hudson well either. He holds a Stuff+ rating of 96, and a Location+ of 96. Since last season opponents have a miss-rate of just 10% on pitches in the strike zone versus Hudson, which is the second worst mark among pitchers to have thrown 115 innings. During that same span opponents have a chase rate of just 24%.
Zack Wheeler enters this game in the midst of a tear through the season's second half. In 46 and 2/3 innings since the All-Star break, he has pitched to an ERA of 2.89 with a WHIP of 0.89. His season xERA now sits at 3.28, while his xFIP 3.55. His arsenal rates well, as he owns a Stuff+ mark of 108 and a Location+ mark of 106 this season.
Since the 2021 season, Wheeler has allowed an average exit velo of just 85.5 on his fastball, which is the best mark in baseball among starters to have thrown over 150 innings. It owns a Stuff+ mark of 113 this year, and remains a key strength as batters own an xSLG of .338.
He has been particularly tough on right-handed batters this season, as he has allowed a league best OPS of just .543.
The Phillies wRC+ of 128 over the last 30 days is the third best mark in baseball. Their 37.5% hard-hit rate in that sample is also fourth best, and a 0.42 BB/K illustrates a better process at the plate than we have seen at times from this roster.
Their bullpen should be in a solid spot entering this game as well, as they needed just an inning each from Jose Alvarado, Andrew Bellatti, and Jeff Hoffman in last night's 7-2 win, which followed an off-day Thursday. Philadelphia's relief pitchers own a 3.71 ERA and 4.41 xFIP over the last 30 days.
Cardinals vs. Phillies
Betting Pick & Prediction
Wheeler's recent dominance illustrates a significant starting pitching edge over Hudson. Those excellent recent results come with far better underlying metrics than Hudson's, and he catches the Cardinals short a couple of key batters in this series making them a better target than they were throughout much of the season.
The Phillies bullpen has become a strength that they have rarely held over the Cardinals in recent years, and should offer them an extra advantage here as well. Their offense is in excellent form, and should make lots of solid contact off of Hudson early.
This sets up as a good time to continue more solid play from the Phillies and a good outing from Wheeler. Philadelphia should jump out to a big enough lead early to warrant a -1.5 bet at -105.