The St. Louis Cardinals were 93-0 in the postseason when leading by two runs or more. In their entire franchise history.
St. Louis led 2-0 entering the ninth inning against the Philadelphia Phillies Friday. The Cardinals lost 6-3.
The fighting Phillies now are one game away from a date with Atlanta in the NLDS.
The Cardinals will turn to Miles Mikolas in Game 2 while the Phillies will turn to Aaron Nola. It’s pretty clear who has the pitching advantage.
But can the Phillies close out the series? Or will the Cardinals pull more Redbird magic in Game 2?
Let’s break it down. Read on for the starting lineups, predictions, and betting odds for Game 2 of this National League Wildcard series.
Philadelphia Phillies vs St. Louis Cardinals Odds
The odds opened close to even but the sharp money has quickly come in on Philadelphia, pushing the Phillies close to -120 and further than that on the first five innings ML.
Expect the odds to continue to move that way. The Phillies are in a great spot for this game.
Philadelphia Phillies vs St. Louis Cardinals Pick & Prediction
My picks: Philadelphia Phillies ML (-115 at DraftKings Sportsbook)
Plus, Nola loves to throw a sinker and a curve. Those are the worst two pitches for the Cardinals lineup by Weighted Runs Created.
The Phillies should be able to knock around Mikolas. Plus, the Ryan Helsley injury is a big deal for the St. Louis bullpen.
The sharps are on the Phillies for a reason. Ride Nola to a Moneyline win and a series win tonight.
Philadelphia Phillies Starting Lineup
LF K. Schwarber L
1B R. Hoskins R
3B A. Bohm R
DH B. Harper L
C J. Realmuto R
RF N. Castellanos R
2B J. Segura R
CF M. Vierling R
SS B. Stott L
Philadelphia Phillies vs Miles Mikolas
It’s surprising to see Mikolas on the mound for St. Louis. Why not go with Adam Wainwright? Or Jordan Montgomery?
Whatever Oliver Marmol’s decision-making process is, we know that Mikolas will be consistent. He’s made massive strides from a year ago, posting an ERA, xERA, FIP, and xFIP between 3.29 and 3.80 and an fWAR of 2.8.
Mikolas hasn’t changed much about his approach or arsenal since last year. It looks like the righty is just finally fully healthy.
Or maybe the sage is working.
The entire season now hinges on Miles Mikolas pic.twitter.com/Ji1fqeGilm
— Ryan (@The_Ryan_Shull) October 7, 2022
Mikolas will face a dangerous Philadelphia lineup. But Jose Quintana was able to shut them down, why can’t Mikolas?
The Phillies did put up five runs over 12 innings on Mikolas this season, so that’s an issue. Plus, the Phillies have a positive Run Value against every pitch this season, so Mikolas can’t sneak any pitches by the Phillies despite his five-pitch arsenal.
St. Louis Cardinals Starting Lineup
2B B. Donovan L
RF L. Nootbaar L
1B P. Goldschmidt R
3B N. Arenado R
DH A. Pujols R
LF C. Dickerson L
CF D. Carlson S
C Y. Molina R
SS T. Edman S
St. Louis Cardinals vs Aaron Nola
Nola is such a good pitcher. He should earn Cy Young votes. He ignored the horrendous defense supporting him by pitching 205 innings (second in MLB) with over 230 strikeouts and less than 30 walks.
Aaron Nola has a 3.89 ERA in his last 80 starts, but a 3.07 FIP. Not often you see such a large ERA-FIP discrepancy sustained over such a large sample. Says a lot about the unusually poor defense behind him.
— Foolish Baseball (@FoolishBB) October 4, 2022
Nola finished with MLB’s second-highest fWAR (5.4), an xERA below 2.75, and a FIP below 2.50. He made 12 starts of at least seven innings while allowing two or fewer runs. He dominated the National League.
— Baseball Reference (@baseball_ref) October 4, 2022
Nola also put together one of the best starts of his career to clinch a postseason spot for the Phillies. He tossed 6 ⅔ innings of two-hit, shutout baseball with nine strikeouts and no walks against the Astros.
I can’t say enough good things about this guy.
I also can’t say enough good things about the Cardinals’ offense. With Nolan Arenado and Paul Goldschmidt leading them, anything is possible.
But the lineup is injured. Tyler O’Neill is on the IL. Nolan Gorman didn’t make the 40-man. And St. Louis is facing their worse split, as the Cardinals are unbelievable against southpaws but more league-average against righties.