Philadelphia Phillies (Z. Wheeler 1-2) vs St. Louis Cardinals (A. Wainwright 0-2)
After three eventful games in Colorado, the Phillies continue their road trip in St. Louis, where they’ll begin a four-game series with the 11-10 Cardinals.
The Phils’ took two of three from St. Louis a couple weekends ago, but this will be Wheeler’s first look at this powerful Cardinals lineup.
The Cards have hit 26 homeruns this season, tied for 8th in baseball, and have gotten unlikely offensive production out of long-tenured catcher Yadier Molina. He’s slashing .339/.382/.661 with five home runs through his first 18 games, a surprise for someone predominantly known for his glove.
Wheeler, who has struggled at times this season, will have to tread carefully through the middle of this Cardinals lineup if he is to have success Monday, as newly acquired Nolan Arenado and Paul Goldschmidt have yet to really get going so far in 2021.
The Phillies bats on the other hand, finally woke up in Colorado, as Bryce Harper enjoyed a two home run game in the rubber match Sunday.
Veteran right-hander Adam Wainwright has settled down after a shaky opening start, as he’s given up just give earned runs over his last three starts (17.0 IP).
At a straight Pick ‘Em for Monday’s game, I like the Phillies to get it done behind the stronger starter in the first of four with St. Louis.
The Pick: Phillies PK (-110)
Chicago Cubs (Z. Davies 1-2) vs Atlanta Braves (C. Morton 1-1)
Another NL East versus Central battle sees the Cubs travel to Atlanta to take on the Braves, as right-hander Zack Davies will get the nod for Chicago, squaring off with first year Brave Charlie Morton in the first of a four-game set.
The Braves took two of three from the Cubs two weeks ago, but have yet to fully hit their stride so far in 2021.
Outside of Ronald Acuna, the offense has really struggled, as Marcell Ozuna, Ozzie Albies, Travis d’Arnaud, and Dansby Swanson are all hitting under .200. Freddie Freeman has been struggling as well, hitting just .214 out the gate.
However, Davies has been roughed up during his first year as a Cub, with an inflated ERA of 8.80 to go along with a 2.09 WHIP. He has more walks than strikeouts — a recipe for disaster in today’s game — especially for someone who doesn’t throw very hard.
Now is the perfect time to buy low on Atlanta.
The Pick: Braves -1.5