Philadelphia Phillies (25-14) vs. St. Louis Cardinals (22-19) MLB Odds

Moneyline: Phillies (-125) Cardinals (+115)

Over/Under: 7.5

Starting Pitchers: Phillies (Lee) vs. Cardinals (Westbrook)

The Phillies and the Cardinals are both coming off a series loss at the hands of their divisional rivals. The Phillies dropped two out of three in Atlanta after the Braves managed to beat Roy Halladay on Sunday afternoon. The Cardinals were swept out of Cincinnati and they are now in second place in the National League Central. How will these teams respond? ESPN will have coverage of this battle at Busch Stadium Monday night.

Cliff Lee will be on the mound for the Phillies. Lee would be the ace for just about anyone else in the league, but he is part of the Phillies amazing starting pitching rotation. While Lee hasn’t been bad this year, he hasn’t been at his absolute best. The Phillies will likely be without Shane Victorino again on Monday. Victorino injured his hamstring on Saturday and is expected to be out until Wednesday. The Phillies are right in the middle of the pack when it comes to team batting average and runs scored per game, but that should improve once they get healthy. Philadelphia leads the majors in quality starts with 28.

The Cardinals were beaten in extra innings on Friday in Cincinnati, and then the Reds took it to them on Saturday and Sunday. The pitching staff of the Cardinals was poor this past weekend. Jake Westbrook has been up and down so far this year, but they’ll need a solid effort out of him on Monday night. St. Louis is in the position they are because of the terrific offensive output they have gotten. Lance Berkman and Matt Holliday have absolutely crushed the baseball all year long. Albert Pujols has had a fairly quiet year thus far, but he’s bound to heat up at any point. One concerning statistic for the Cardinals is the fact that they lead the majors with 33 errors.

Westbrook has been inconsistent and Lee has an ERA of 4.62 on the road this year. It wouldn’t surprise me if there are multiple home runs on Monday night. I think the total is set too low for a game between two good offensive teams.

MLB Free Pick: Phillies/Cardinals over 7.5