MLB Odds, Picks, Predictions: Cardinals vs Phillies Betting Preview (Friday 10/7/22)
Logan Riely/Getty Images. Pictured: Bryce Harper
- Today's Phillies-Cardinals game is close to a coin-flip matchup, according to oddsmakers.
- Zack Wheeler is set to take the mound for Philadelphia, and he will be opposed by Jose Quintana for St. Louis.
- Continue reading for a full breakdown of this matchup, including a betting pick.
For Saturday's Game 2 preview, click here
The first day of the Wild Card Round is like a holiday as we get high-intensity baseball spread throughout the day. The second game we will see takes place between the NL Central champions St. Louis Cardinals, and the third NL wild-card team, the Philadelphia Phillies.
Getting the ball first will be Cardinals lefty Jose Quintana. Quintana proved to be a worthwhile acquisition for St. Louis as he was dominant once coming over at the deadline. In 12 starts, he had a 2.01 ERA and a 1.12 WHIP. However, those stats are wiped clean now, and he may have very different results in the postseason.
Opposing him for the Phillies will be their ace, Zack Wheeler. Wheeler missed some time from late July to early August, but still managed to make 26 starts. He was excellent in nearly all of them, as he held a 2.82 ERA and 1.04 WHIP. He also is quite familiar with this Cardinals lineup, as he saw them twice this year. So can he deliver a hat trick with a third stellar performance? Let's dive in to find out.
Updated Cardinals vs. Phillies Game 1 Odds
|Time||2:07 p.m. ET|
|Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute MLB odds here.|
Phillies Due For Success Against Quintana
While Quintana appears to be a tall task for this Phillies lineup, they are due for some success against him. First off, Quintana relies on generating soft contact and missing barrels, but that is exactly what this Phillies lineup does best.
They finished the season seventh in barrel rate, average exit velocity and hard-hit rate. The amount of contact is bound to catch up to Quintana, which is why his xERA is 3.86, nearly a full run higher than his season ERA.
This Phillies team has proven they can do damage, but did I mention they crush lefties? Yes, on top of their impressive contact numbers, the Phillies finished third in the batting average, fourth in wOBA and sixth in wRC+ against lefties.
We can even get deeper and look at how the Phillies are due for positive regression against Quintana, specifically. Overall, the current Phillies lineup has compiled 89 at-bats against Quintana, and for the most part, he's gotten the better of them, but guys like Nick Castellanos, Rhys Hoskins, and JT Realmuto each have xBA above .300 and xSLGs above .530.
They, along with Bryce Harper, who has yet to get a hit off Quintana in his career, will be in the middle of the order, ready to pounce.
Cards' Bats Cooled Off Late
The Cardinals may have had one of the most potent lineups in baseball in the heart of summer, but as the weather began to cool, so did their bats. Over the last 30 days of the season, St. Louis hit just .227 as a team and ranked 29th in BABIP.
So not only were they not racking up hits, but they were also not making good contact consistently.
Now, this scuffling lineup has to face a revitalized Wheeler. They already have bad memories of Wheeler as he threw 14 consecutive innings against them back in July as he faced them in back-to-back starts.
He was also in prime form upon returning from the IL, as in his final three starts of the season, he allowed just one run, which came on a solo homer, and had a 0.60 WHIP.
While Wheeler's two dominant starts against the Cardinals this season were impressive, they only added to an already stellar track record against this lineup. In his career, Wheeler has compiled 112 at-bats against the Cardinals' bats' and has kept them very quiet. As a result, they have hit just .223 with a .313 SLG and a 20.7 percent strikeout rate.
His success should continue, given the fact that they have not made much solid contact of late and against him in particular.
This is a matchup of two teams trending in opposite directions. The Cardinals' bats have cooled off significantly, and their decision to start Quintana is peculiar given the Phillies' excellent splits and contact metrics.
On the other side, we should have complete confidence to back Wheeler in Game 1, as he has the Cardinals' number and has shown it on multiple occasions. Even if they do catch him for a long ball or two, expect him to settle in as the Phillies' right-handed bats provide him run support.
Pick: Phillies -110 or Better