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The last time the St. Louis Cardinals won eight of 10 games to start a season, Adam Wainwright wasn't born.

The right-hander will try help the Cardinals accomplish that feat Thursday night when he takes the mound in the opener of a four-game set against the San Francisco Giants.

Oddsmakers from Sportsbook.com have made St. Louis -133 money line favorites (MLB Odds) for tonight's game, the over/under has been set at 8 total runs (Matchup). Current public betting information shows that 89% of bets for this game have been placed on St. Louis -133 (View MLB Bet Percentages).

The Cardinals (7-2) defeated Houston 6-4 on Wednesday, their second consecutive win and seventh in eight games since an opening-day loss to Colorado.

Now, they have a chance to run their record to 8-2 for the first time since the strike-shortened 1981 season.

Strong starting pitching has been a major factor in the current Cardinals' success. St. Louis' starters have combined for a 1.99 ERA thus far.

Wainwright (1-0, 2.25 ERA), who was born on Aug. 30, 1981, looks to keep that trend going and follow up a terrific 2008 debut.

On Saturday, Wainwright allowed two runs and eight hits in eight innings of a 5-4 win over Washington. He also helped himself at the plate, going 1-for-3 with an RBI while batting eighth, which Cards manager Tony La Russa is accustomed to doing with Wainwright - a .310 lifetime hitter.

One of Wainwright's two career homers came at AT&T Park on May 24, 2006, when he recorded his only career win against the Giants (3-6) out of the bullpen. He's 1-0 with a 4.91 ERA in two relief outings against them.

Albert Pujols went 3-for-4 with his first two homers of the season on Wednesday, ending the longest home run drought of his career to start a season. The All-Star first baseman also added a season-high three RBIs, while increasing his batting average to .379 (11-for-29).

"I watched a couple of videos and I made some adjustments at the plate because of some things that I saw the last couple of games," Pujols said of a video session earlier Wednesday. "I knew what I was doing wrong and it's a good thing that I picked it up early and I felt good out there and had success today. Obviously it helped me out."

Pujols is 7-for-17 (.412) with two homers and five RBIs in his last four games at San Francisco.

The Giants hope Kevin Correia (0-1, 6.00) can help them win a third consecutive game after rookie Daniel Ortmeier's RBI double in the bottom the ninth gave them a 1-0 win over San Diego on Thursday.

Correia had difficulty in his season debut after enduring a stomach virus that caused him to drop 12 pounds. The right-hander, who has mostly been used out of the bullpen in his career, gave up four runs and six hits, including a home run, in six innings of a 5-4 loss at Milwaukee on Saturday.

"I thought he threw the ball really well, especially as sick as he was this week," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said.

Correia is 0-1 with a 5.14 ERA in seven career games - one start - versus St. Louis.

Giants catcher Bengie Molina is 5-for-13 with two homers and five RBIs in the last three games - a stretch which includes a walkoff homer in the bottom of the 11th on Tuesday to clinch a 3-2 win over the Padres.

Here are some top trends for tonight's matchup:

-CORREIA is 18-9 (+13.3 Units) against the money line in all games since 1997. (Team's Record)

-SAN FRANCISCO is 74-97 (-23.5 Units) against the money line in all games over the last 2 seasons.

-ST LOUIS is 109-126 (-31.5 Units) against the money line in night games over the last 3 seasons.

by: Dave Michaels - thespread.com – Email Us

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