Phillies v. Cardinals Wildcard Playoff betting preview for Game 1

Philadelphia Phillies’ Kyle Schwarber, right front, celebrates his home run with Bryce Harper (3) during the first inning of the second baseball game of the team’s doubleheader against the Washington Nationals, Saturday, Oct. 1, 2022, in Washington. Phillies’ Rhys Hoskins is at rear. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)

The last Phillies playoff run ended in St. Louis, and now they’re back, eleven years later, for revenge.

The opening clash in this potential three-game romp is what Phillies fans, and parlay-chaos boys, have been waiting for, and we here at PhillySportsNetwork won’t disappoint.

There is money to be made, and we’ll help you spot the pockets that might go unnoticed otherwise. This is the end of the lede, we’re too excited, and you should be too. Let us gamble.

National League Wildcard Round, Game 1 – Philadelphia Phillies @ St. Louis Cardinals

Zack Wheeler (12-7, 2.82 ERA) v. José Quintana (3-2, 2.01 ERA) – Busch Stadium, Friday, October 7th @ 2:10p


Aaron Nola might deserve it, but Zack Wheeler will start Game 1 against the Cards.

Wheeler has yet to allow a run through 14.0 innings against the St. Louis Cardinals in 2022. While his strikeouts total just nine across those games, he’s gone 2-0 and allowed just nine hits.

Of the six teams that he pitched at least ten innings against this season, the Cardinals are the only team he’s shut out.

And you can’t mention Wheeler without J.T. Realmuto. In Wheeler’s 23 starts paired with Realmuto, his ERA has been 2.38 versus his three starts with Garrett Stubbs, which have seen his ERA balloon to 6.35.

Isolating Wheeler’s ERA with Realmuto would make him the seventh-best in the MLB if he qualified. If the nod to Wheeler was ever in question, it shouldn’t be.


No Adam Wainwright today. Although the veteran righty has appeared in 29 playoff games and maintained a 2.83 ERA as a reliever and starter, the Cardinals have opted for José Quintana.

That’s not a knock on Quintana, either. Since being acquired from the Pittsburgh Pirates, the 33-year-old has an ERA of 2.01 and has allowed just one home run through 62 and 1/3 innings.

It’ll be interesting to see if the Phillies can adopt a small-ball mentality for this game, in which I don’t believe we will see many runs. Transition landed.

Best Books and Better Bets

The major sportsbooks (i.e., FanDuel and Draftkings) are having trouble with this one, and that’s good news for you.

As of Thursday afternoon, Phillies-Cardinals was the only game without true odds, props, or anything outside of a vague Moneyline.

It took quite some time for the Cards to announce Quintana as their starter. Now the stage is set, and we’re returning to the weather well because you cannot gamble on professional baseball without a basic understanding of the radar.

The ideal baseball-hitting weather is 70F degrees with about 50% humidity. It’ll be about 61F and 42% humidity on Friday in St. Louis, so it’s a bit cooler and dryer than you’d like for hitting baseballs.

With two aces on the mound, we like the under in Game 1. Right now, the O/U is set at seven runs at -122 odds. That’s $10 to win $8.20; dare I say, it’s a lock.

Props and Parlays

This one will be interesting because the Phillies’ current lineup has had very little success against Quintana, but that will not stop us from an offensive prop parlay.

From his time spent in the NL Central, Nick Castellanos is the Phil most familiar with Quintana’s work, but even with a career .275 BA against the lefty, that’s ostensibly a stay-away for me, dawg.

I like some combination of Rhys Hoskins and Jean Segura.

Hoskins has a 1.133 OPS across fifteen plate appearances, including five walks. That tells me he’s seeing something right. Segura, meanwhile, has an OPS of 1.170 and two doubles across seven at-bats.

If you parlay Hoskins and Segura to record 2+ bases each, you get +522 odds (or $10 to win $52.24).

Bonus Bet

Right now, on FanDuel Sportsbook, you can get the Philadelphia Phillies to win the 2022 World Series at 30-to-1 odds. I know it doesn’t seem likely, but for $10, you could win $300. You could do worse. Join me.

Photo Credit: AP Photo/Nick Wass