The team that many thought had the best in baseball this year, the Philadelphia Phillies staved off elimination on Tuesday night and forced a Game 5 in the Bronx. Can they get the job done? Check out our MLB predictions for New York’s game against the St. Louis Cardinals on Thursday night.
Year To Date Record: 8-9, -$20
MLB Predictions: St. Louis Cardinals @ Philadelphia Phillies
Date: Friday, October 7th, TBD
Location: Citizens Bank Ballpark, Philadelphia, PA
MLB Playoffs Odds: Philadelphia -180, Over/Under 6.5 (over -130)
MLB Playoffs TV Schedule: TBS
You play for a full season just to try to get home field advantage in situations like this, and though the Phils would have much rather preferred a shorter series than this one, they have to be comfortable with the fact that they are going into Game 5 at home with their best pitcher on the mound even though they let an early lead slip away in Game 4 in St. Louis.
Roy Halladay wasn’t exactly remarkable in Game 1 of this series, but save for Cole Hamels, none of the vaunted Philadelphia starting pitchers really have been. It’s a harsh reminder that no matter how good your team looks on paper, weird things can happen in short series in the playoffs. Don’t be surprised if we see a lot more than Halladay if the situation calls for it. We don’t think that Roy Oswalt is available, but any of the other big time arms could be used, especially knowing that there has to be zilch for confidence in the bullpen for Manager Charlie Manuel.
Meanwhile, the St. Louis bullpen has just been remarkable in this series. Octavio Dotel, Jason Motte, and Arthur Rhodes have combined to throw seven scoreless innings, and only Marc Rzepczynski has had problems. Of course, the man that has the next highest ERA in the bunch is Chris Carpenter, the man that will be pitching on Friday. This is the third straight truly pressure packed start for Carpenter. He survived the final day of the regular season, shutting out the Houston Astros, but he didn’t make it on short rest against the Phils in Game 2 of this series, allowing four runs in three innings. The reason that Manager Tony LaRussa used him in Game 2 though, was so he could come back and pitch Game 5 on regular rest instead of just being used out of the bullpen in perhaps an inning or two if needed.
This is going ot be an out and out war to say the least. In the end, we just think that the Phils have more arms that they can rely on to get the job done. We don’t think that either team will ever be ahead by more than a run, but in the end, we just have to trust that the favorites to win it all are going to come up with the victory that they badly need to keep their season alive.
St. Louis Cardinals vs. Philadelphia Phillies Game 5 Picks: Philadelphia -180