The St. Louis Cardinals are really good. The Philadelphia Phillies are really bad. The Cardinals’ Michael Wacha is a Cy Young candidate near the midway point of the season, while Philadelphia’s starter Adam Morgan isn’t even the first Adam Morgan that appears on a Google search of “Adam Morgan ESPN.” After drubbing the Phillies 10-1 on Saturday, the Cardinals should be in for another easy triumph in the series finale on Sunday.
There’s a betting line available when you want to back a heavy favorite without laying the type of juice that comes with a St. Louis moneyline on Sunday. It’s called the run line and it’s never been too common of a play for us here. That said, this is the type of spot I like to pull it out for. The Cardinals are -220ish to win the game straight up in Philly, which is too high of a price for me here. I am willing to lay -130 that St. Louis wins by more than a run, though for a couple of reasons.
The first is that the Cardinals are the away team. They’ll get all nine of their at-bats, which wouldn’t happen if they carried a one-run lead into the ninth at Busch Stadium. Being the road team actually benefits us here on the run line.
The other is the potential for the Cardinals to struggle against Adam Morgan in the left-hander’s MLB debut. St. Louis has never seen the guy before, which would make it tough for me to want to lay such a huge number on a win. But that concern is small. And on the other side of things, there’s probably a good chance the Birds light up this minor leaguer. If that is the case, we know we’ll get a low-scoring game from Wacha on the other side of things. Tough to imagine Philadelphia going over two or three in this game, which means we should really like the chances that the Cards romp in this one. And I like the -130 price a whole lot more than -220.
Free Pick: St. Louis (-1.5) -130
YTD: 9-5-3 +3.32
2014: 45-28-3 +9.02