Although last night’s game was a damper on the Cardinals’ offensive parade, their spirits should not be too low as the Birds take on the Phillies tonight (7:15 at Busch Stadium).

There are a few things to watch for in tonight’s game. First, look no further than the man on the mound, Jaime Garcia. Garcia loves playing against the Phillies. Phillies stars Jimmy Rollins, Carlos Ruiz, Chase Utley and Howard are a combined 6-39 (0.154) lifetime against Jaime according to ESPN. The heart of the order should continue to struggle for the Phillies tonight. By stark contrast, A.J. Burnett is 1-2 with a 13.50 ERA at Busch stadium since 2012.

Another critical factor in tonight’s game is the offensive groove that the Cardinals and the Phillies have gotten themselves into. The Cardinals are 8-3 in the last 11 games which includes the five-game winning streak when they swept the Nationals. . The Cardinals’ bats have been consistently average compared with the rest of the MLB and may prove to be the Achilles heel for the near-flawless pitching. The Cardinals pitching teamed with a powerful lineup could win the World Series against just about any team in history. The problem is that the team’s offense is comparable to the Phillies and basically negates any advantage the Cards would have had on that front.

The Phillies are in a down year that happens to be contrasted against their recent slew of victories (8-2 in their last ten games). The pitching has struggled and, until this week, their offensive production has been slowTonight’s game will come down to pitching, which the Cardinals will win almost every time.

Bottom Line: A.J. Burnett is no match for Jaime Garcia and the St. Louis Cardinals