MLB Playoffs 2011: Can The Phillies Finish Cardinals In NLDS?

ST LOUIS, MO - OCTOBER 04: Shane Victorino #8 and the Philadelphia Phillies players celebrate after the Phillies won Game 3 of the National League Division Series against the St. Louis Cardinals on October 4, 2011 at Busch Stadium in St Louis, Missouri. The Phillies defeated the Cardinals with a final score of 3-2. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

The Philadelphia Phillies are on the brink of advancing to the NLCS, but first they have to finish the Cardinals in game 4. Roy Oswalt will be pitching, but look closer, and the Cardinals might be the smart play. (All content comes courtesy of SB Nation's odds partners at OddsShark.com.)

St. Louis blew a chance to take a lead in the NLDS, but trends point strongly to the Cardinals winning Game 4 tonight at home and forcing a fifth game. The Phillies got a three-run HR by Ben Francisco, dodged a bases-loaded bullet in the eighth and wriggled off the hook in the ninth in winning 3-2 Tuesday night.

They throw Roy Oswalt at the Cardinals Wednesday in St. Louis against Edwin Jackson, which may to favor the Phillies. But dig a little deeper and you see all kinds of patterns that point to the Cards winning as small moneyline underdogs (+106 at several shops tracked by OddsShark.com).

“For starters, Philly’s big-name screen stars have been outplayed by St. Louis’s small-name stage hands, guys like John Jay, Ryan Theriot, Octavio Dotel,” said Mike Pickett of OddsShark.com. “They look scared to lose while the Cards are playing to win.”

Second, Oswalt has struggled against the Cardinals in recent years, both as a Phillie and an Astro. Before beating them in September, his teams were on a 1-7 run in his starts against the Red Birds.

Contrast that with Edwin Jackson’s recent superb run, where he has allowed more than two earned runs only three times on 14 starts (one was 3, one was 4). That’s for everyone who felt his no-hitter last year was just a fluke (maybe it was, he threw 149 pitches and walked eight).

St. Louis has won 6 of his past 7 starts and expect tons of prop odds on Jackson vs Oswalt stats, Allbert Pujols vs Hunter Pence props and more.

Also working in the Cardinals’ favor is a terrific recent run of luck against RHP starters. He lost to Roy Halladay in Game 1 of this series, but had won 15 of 18 against right-handed starters before that. 

Philly however has won five straight road games overall and could just as easily win in a rout. They have the superior cast of talent – they just haven’t played like it in this series.

In a clinching game, we often look at the OVER bet. But in this case, trends are pointing UNDER the total. The total has gone UNDER in 9 of Philadelphia's last 12 road games on the road and in 6 of Philadelphia's last 8 trips to St. Louis.

Brewers vs Diamondbacks

If you are betting this game based on pitcher effectiveness this year, you might want to avoid the Brewers with Randy Wolf on the hill. He got bombed twice by the Diamondbacks in 2011 and they smell blood in the water after their 8-1 win in Game 3.

We like Arizona with Joe Saunders on the hill to win Game 4 as small moneyline faves (opened at -107 at OddsShark.com shops this morning). [ Brewers vs Diamondbacks Matchup Stats ]

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.