Tuesday’s baseball schedule includes a game between the St. Louis Cardinals and Philadelphia Phillies. The Phillies knocked off the Red Birds 6-5 with 10 innings Monday night to take the first game of the series. Philadelphia is a slight -116 favorite to win Tuesday as well.
Monday’s loss continued a downward spiral for the Cardinals, who have now lost five of their last six games. Injuries have played a big part in their season, helping to keep St. Louis four games behind the Cubs and Brewers in the NL Central. However, outside of Paul DeJong and a few relief pitchers, the Cardinals are as healthy as they’ve been all season.
The Phillies, on the other hand, are starting to trend upward again. They have won three in a row and six of their last eight games. Philadelphia has now climbed within 3.5 games of the Braves for the top spot in the NL East. They are also tied with the Nationals for the second wild-card spot.
The Cardinals will send Luke Weaver to the mound Tuesday night. The 24-year old is in the midst of his first full season in the big leagues. He’s flashed plenty of promise but has struggled to find consistency. He’s currently going through a rough stretch, as opposing hitters are batting .317 against him during the month of June. He’s given up eight runs on 16 hits over his last two outings. Weaver is also struggling to go beyond five innings, which is a problem for the short-handed St. Louis bullpen.
Fortunately for Weaver, the Phillies don’t have an overly intimidating lineup. Only two of their regulars have an OPS over .800 this season. In fact, Weaver gave up one run over seven innings against Philadelphia last month. However, both Odubel Herrera and Rhys Hoskins have started to heat up, as both have three home runs over the past week. Scott Kingery and Nick Williams have also started to pick it up amidst the team’s three straight wins.
The Beat Goes on
The Phillies will look to Vince Velasquez to push their winning streak to four games. Outside of one disastrous outing against the Brewers in which he allowed 10 runs in 3.2 innings, Velasquez has been excellent since the calendar flipped to May. He’s allowed two runs or less in six of his last eight starts. That stretch includes a start against the Cardinals in which he tossed 6.1 scoreless innings.
Offensively, the Cardinals struggling to get much production outside the quartet of Marcell Ozuna, Jose Martinez, Matt Carpenter, and Tommy Pham, although the recent return of Yadier Molina has helped. However, the St. Louis lineup should be manageable for Velasquez, as the St. Louis roster is just 11 for 48 (.229) against him.
Can’t Stop Momentum
Everything is going right for the Phillies over the past week, while the Cardinals are undoubtedly scuffling. That momentum will be tough to stop for both sides, especially with Weaver’s performance being uneven lately and Velasquez pitching so well for the last six weeks. The Phillies will feel great about themselves after Monday’s extra-inning win, and it’ll carry over into Tuesday. Bet on Philadelphia -116 over St. Louis.