St. Louis Cardinals vs Philadelphia Phillies (7/8/22) Starting Lineup, Betting Odds, Prediction

The Philadelphia Phillies will get behind their ace Zack Wheeler and try to win on the road. But the St. Louis Cardinals have an ace up their sleeve as well, as Adam Wainwright will take the mound.

The Cardinals and Phillies are both four games over .500 and are tied for the last Wildcard spot, with the Phillies holding the “tiebreaker” for now.

Therefore, this is a pretty massive season for the pre-All-Star Break. What should we bettors expect?

Read on for the starting lineups, betting odds, and my prediction for this Wednesday matchup.

Philadelphia Phillies vs St. Louis Cardinals Odds

I think these odds are about fair. The Phillies should be slight favorites considering just how good Wheeler is, but the Cardinals deserve respect at Busch Stadium.

It’ll take a deeper dive to discover exactly where the value lies.

Philadelphia Phillies Starting Lineup

Z. Wheeler R
7-4 2.66 ERA

LF K. Schwarber L
1B R. Hoskins R
RF N. Castellanos R
DH D. Hall L
C J. Realmuto R
SS D. Gregorius L
CF O. Herrera L
3B A. Bohm R
2B B. Stott L

Philadelphia Phillies vs Adam Wainwright

Wainwright continues to truck along. He was drafted into professional baseball the same year that the Patriots drafted Tom Brady. And like Tom Brady, Uncle Charlie seems to improve every single season.

But unlike Tom Brady, who continues to throw the football harder and harder every year, Waino has to find different ways to produce outs.

As Wainwright’s velocity has dropped (unlike Brady’s), he’s pivoted to using his curveball more and more. Interestingly, the usage of that curveball has dipped this year, which may help explain why his Whiff rate is lower than it’s been since 2017 – which is also the last time his curve usage dropped below his sinker usage.

chart 2022 07 07T163028.505

Image credit: Baseball Savant

It hasn’t really affected his overall results, as he’s pitched to a 3.26 ERA and a 4.41 xERA over 16 starts this year. Waino typically overperforms his expected stuff because of a great defense behind him, but curiously, that hasn’t been the case this season. The Cardinals’ defense is rather average per Outs Above Average and Defensive Runs Saved, and Wainwright’s BABIP is as high as it’s been in five years.

We’ll see how Waino holds up against this Phillies offense. Philly has held up well without Bryce Harper in the fold, posting top-10 marks across most offensive statistics over the last month.

That’s mostly because Kyle Schwarber is the hottest hitter on the planet. He’s got a 1.108 OPS and 16 home runs in 32 games since June 1, upon which the Phillies are 22-10. He’s hit four more homers during that stretch than anyone in baseball (Aaron Judge, 12).

It’d be nice if Nick Castellanos could get it together. Although he’s working on a four-game hit streak where he’s 6-for-17 with four RBIs, he doesn’t have a home run or a single walk to help his stats.

For what it’s worth, Wainwright got shelled earlier this season against the Phillies, allowing 4 ER on 8 hits over 5 ⅔ innings with a 5:1 K/BB ratio. But he also threw a complete game last season where he allowed just two ER over 6 hits with an 8:0 K/BB ratio.

Interestingly, all four runs he allowed to the Phillies came off the home run. He could be due for some HR/FB regression, especially with the wind projected to be blowing in from left field on Friday evening.

St. Louis Cardinals Starting Lineup

A. Wainwright R
6-6 3.26 ERA

SS T. Edman S
LF B. Donovan L
1B P. Goldschmidt R
3B N. Arenado R
2B N. Gorman L
DH J. Yepez R
CF D. Carlson S
RF C. Capel L
C A. Romine R

St. Louis Cardinals vs Zack Wheeler

There are five pitchers in MLB this season with at least 2.9 fWAR. Sandy Alcantara, Max Fried, Carlos Rodon, Aaron Nola, and Wheeler.

Nola is somewhat overshadowing just how good Wheeler has been this season. His 2.66 ERA is paired with a 2.75 xERA and a 2.48 FIP. He’s due for almost no regression despite being one of the best National League pitchers.

Screen Shot 2022 07 07 at 4.52.44 PM

Image credit: Baseball Savant

Sadly, the Phillies haven’t taken much advantage, going just 8-7 in his starts so far. Wheeler’s got a personal 7-4 record in those starts.

Expect a lot of high-90s fastballs with a plus sinker and slider. His curveball has been surprisingly ineffective this season, with Wheeler posting a +4 Run Value on the pitch. But it hasn’t mattered so far.

The Cardinals have a top-10 offense by almost every metric. When you combine Tommy Edman, Nolan Arenado, and Paul Goldschmidt at the top of the lineup, good things are going to happen.

Goldschmidt has been especially productive. He’s been an NL MVP candidate, if not the clubhouse leader considering he leads the league in fWAR (4.3) and OPS (1.047). His 19 home runs don’t hurt either.

St. Louis Cardinals vs Philadelphia Phillies Pick and Prediction

My picks: Phillies ML (-105 at DraftKings sportsbook)

With Wheeler on the mound at such short odds, you have to bet it.

It’s tough to bet on the Phillies with such a catastrophic defense (29th in both Outs Above Average and Defensive Runs Saved), but that risk is mitigated with Wheeler’s 10.2 K/9.

I love Wainwright, but he’s due for too much regression, and the Cardinal defensive decline makes me less inclined to back them.

Both offenses are good, but the Phillies can compete with any lineup in the league with Schwarber hammering the ball this hard.

Plus, the Phillies bullpen has been pitching extremely well recently. The relief staff has overperformed any expectations I had in the pre-season.

All-in-all, I’ll take the Phillies at anything less than about -115.

Tanner joined Lineups to cover everything, but he has vast experience in, and unlimited passion for, Major League Baseball and NCAA Basketball. He’s a McGill University grad and former (Canadian) Division-I alpine ski racer who now spends his time drinking beer and betting home underdogs. Patrick Mahomes is a poor man’s Tom Brady.

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