MLB picks: Cardinals vs. Phillies, Dodgers vs. Padres
The MLB season is in full swing now, with all 30 teams in action this Friday night. We’ll take a look at two of the more intriguing contests to wager on this evening.
First up, it’s the St. Louis Cardinals taking on the Philadelphia Phillies. Then we’ll look at a west coast battle between the Los Angeles Dodgers and the San Diego Padres.
Fri, April 16 2021, 11:05 PM
The Phillies have a considerable edge in the starting pitching battle on Friday night, as Zach Eflin takes on the Cardinals’ Carlos Martinez. Philadelphia is a solid wager for this reason alone.
After limiting the Atlanta Braves’ bats to one run over seven innings in his initial outing of 2021, Eflin understandably took a step back next time out against the same team, but this time on the road. He allowed four earned runs in only six innings of work last Saturday.
Fresh off a career-low 3.97 ERA in 2020, Eflin has had plenty of success against the Redbirds’ best hitters. Nolan Arenado and Paul Goldschmidt are a combined 3-for-17 (.176) all-time against the Florida native.
Backing up Eflin is the Phillies’ much-improved bullpen, which is 12th in opponent batting average through 37 1/3 innings of work.
Martinez has produced a 6.30 ERA and 1.40 WHIP through two starts in 2021. His road splits over the last three seasons are not pretty; he had a 3.64 road ERA in 2018, compared to a 3.11 ERA overall. In 2019, his road ERA was 4.56, contrasting with his 3.11 ERA overall. And in 2020, a disastrous year overall (9.90 ERA), his road ERA was 10.95.
Expect Bryce Harper and company to go gate-to-wire in this one.
Sat, April 17 2021, 2:10 AM
The first matchup in a highly-anticipated season series between the Dodgers and the Padres should go to visiting L.A. on Friday night.
Walker Buehler begins the night on the mound for the Dodgers, and he’s allowed a mere two earned runs over his first 12 innings of 2021. San Diego’s better hitters – like Eric Hosmer, Manny Machado, and Wil Myers – haven’t had much success against L.A.’s ace, going a combined 4-for-27 (.148) lifetime.
If Fernando Tatis Jr. is indeed able to rejoin his teammates for this series, he’ll be taking his first ever at-bats against Buehler.
Rookie hurler Ryan Weathers responds for the Friars against the red-hot Dodgers offense.
His first three outings of the season have come in relief, and he’s allowed only one earned run through six innings. But L.A.’s offense – second in baseball with 5.77 runs per game – could overwhelm him.
Justin Turner has an outstanding 1.321 OPS on the year, so look for him to lead the way.