MLB Picks: Cardinals vs. Dodgers Series Odds

Darin Zank

Thursday, June 26, 2014 2:18 PM GMT

LA took Game 1 of this series Thursday night 1-0, scoring the only run of the game in the bottom of the eighth inning. Which way should we go with out free MLB pick on Friday's Game 2 (10:10 pm ET)?

 

29th June
Cardinals vs. Dodgers Game 4

By: Ron Patrick

 

Sunday's Betting Odds
In the early betting LA and Clay Kershaw were favored by around -190 over St. Louis and Shelby Miller, with a total of 6.5 runs.


Saturday Re-Hash
After scoring two runs through the first two games of this series LA posted a six-spot in the second inning on its way to a 9-1 Game 3 rout. The Dodgers banged out 15 hits on the day, while getting a breezy seven innings from starter Zach Greinke.

Los Angeles won as a -140 favorite on Saturday's MLB board, and to our delight easily covered against the run line at a price of +160.

The Dodgers picked up another game on first-place San Francisco in the NL West, and now sit just one game from the lead.

St. Louis, on the other hand, lost a game to first-place Milwaukee in the NL Central, and now sits 6.5 games off the lead.


Sunday's Starters
Kershaw (8-2, 2.24) is 9/11 on quality starts this year, and at the moment on another one of his rolls. Including a shutout performance against Kansas City five days ago and that no-hitter just before that, Kershaw has allowed just two runs and 17 hits over his last 29 innings, with two walks and 39 strikeouts.

For the season, shortened a bit by that stint on the DL, Kershaw has allowed 57 hits in 72 innings, walked just nine while whiffing 94. LA is 8-3 in Kershaw's starts, with the totals going 6-5.

Kershaw started four times against the Cardinals last year, including twice in the NLCS, allowing 13 ER and 25 hits through 23 innings; LA lost all four of those games.

Miller (7-6, 3.75), by our strict standards, is just 4/16 on quality starts, and 0 for his last two. Ten days ago he gave up four runs in 6 2/3 innings against Philly, and five days ago he gave up three runs and six hits, and walked five, in less than three innings against Colorado, leaving the game with a sore back. Over his last three starts, covering 16 innings, he's walked 12 batters.

For the season Miller has allowed 85 hits in 94 innings, but he's also walked 46, bringing his WHIP up to 1.40. St. Louis is 8-8 in Miller's starts, with the totals leaning toward the 'unders' by a 10-6 margin.

In Miller's one real start against Los Angeles last year he allowed three runs and seven hits in five-plus innings of a 5-3 Cardinals victory.


Free Pick for Sunday
Kershaw had trouble with St. Louis last year, but this is a little different Cardinals lineup he'll face today. So it's hard not to lean toward LA. But that price is a bit steep for our taste. So instead, we'll go with the 'under' 6.5 runs, at the -110 offered at Bookmaker, for our free MLB pick on Sunday's contest.  

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28th June
Cardinals vs. Dodgers Game 3

By: Ron Patrick

 

Saturday's Line
As of Saturday morning, the best line we could find on LA and Zack Greinke was the -144 offered at BetOnline, while St. Louis and Lance Lynn could be gotten at +137 at 5Dimes.


Friday Re-Hash
St. Louis scored a run in the fourth and two in the fifth and the bullpen threw 4 2/3 innings of scoreless ball to secure a 3-1 victory. The Cardinals won as +120 dogs on Friday's MLB betting board, and the game, like Thursday's series opener, played 'under' its total.


Saturday's Starters
Greinke (9-4, 2.89) is 10/16 on quality starts this year, although he's coming off his worst outing of the season, after giving up five runs and 11 hits in 5 2/3 innings against Kansas City Monday. That was just the second time this season Greinke had given up more than three ER in a start.

For the season the former Cy Young winner has allowed 97 hits in 97 innings, walked 20 and whiffed 101. LA is 9-7 in Greinke's starts, with the totals going 9-7.

Greinke started three times against the Cardinals last year, including twice in the NLCS, allowing six runs and 18 hits through 21 1/3 innings; the Dodgers went 2-1 in those games.

Lynn (8-5, 2.90) is 9/15 on quality starts, and three for his last three. Last time out he held Colorado scoreless on three hits through eight innings, and over his last three starts he's allowed just two runs and 10 hits through 22 innings.

On the season Lynn has allowed 88 hits in 99 innings, walked 35 and struck out 89. St. Louis is 10-6 in Lynn's starts, with the totals leaning toward the 'unders' by a 9-6 margin.

Lynn started twice against the Dodgers last year, including once in the NLCS, giving up two runs and eight hits in 11 1/3 innings; the Cardinals won both those games.


Free MLB Pick for Saturday
In expecting a bounce-back effort from Greinke we like the Dodgers today. And since we also like to take chances we'll go with LA on the run line, getting +166 at 5Dimes, for our free pick on Saturday's contest.

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27th June
Cardinals vs. Dodgers Game 2

By: Ron Patrick

 

Friday's Line
In early betting the best price we could find on LA and Hyun-Jin Ryu was the -138 offered at BetOnline, while St. Louis and Carlos Martinez could be found at +132 at Bet365.

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Thursday Re-Hash
Both Josh Beckett and Adam Wainwright came up with great outings Thursday night, keeping the game scoreless into the bottom of the eighth, when the Dodgers manufactured a run on a single/sacrifice/single and hung on for a 1-0 victory. 

LA won as +105 home dog on Thursday's MLB betting board, and the game never approached its total of 6.5 runs.

In a tough call we backed St. Louis for our free MLB pick on Thursday's contest, but the Cardinals only got one runner past second base all night, in the top of the seventh inning, and he got thrown out at home.


Friday's Starters
Ryu (9-3, 3.06) is 10/14 on quality starts this year, and six for his last seven. Most recently he held San Diego to one run through six innings, and just before that he did the exact same thing to Colorado. 

For the season Ryu has allowed 80 hits in 82 innings, walked 18 and struck out 66. LA is 9-5 in Ryu's starts, with the totals leaning toward the 'unders' by a 7-4 margin.

Ryu started twice against St. Louis last year, allowing just one unearned run through 14 innings. The Dodgers won both those games, and both games played 'under' the totals.

Martinez (1-3, 4.33) will be making his third start of this season, to go along with 30 appearances in relief, as he fills in on an injury-depleted Cardinals rotation. Last time out he gave up three runs (on one swing of the bat) through five innings against Philly, and just before that he threw four innings, allowing one unearned run, against the Mets.

On the season the 22-year-old righty has allowed 36 hits in 44 innings, walked 19, which is a bit too many, and struck out 36. St. Louis has won both games Martinez has started. 

Martinez started once against the Dodgers last year, allowing four runs and seven hits in 4 2/3 innings of a 5-1 Cardinals loss. He also threw 4 2/3 innings of scoreless ball in relief against LA in the NLCS.


Free MLB Pick
There are two ways we'd play this game; first, we like Ryu and the Dodgers, and we like to take chances, so we'd go with LA on the run line, getting +160 at You Wager. And in thinking runs might be hard to come by we like the 'under' seven runs at the +100 offered at Will Hill.

 

26th June
Cardinals vs. Dodgers Game 1

By: Ron Patrick

 

Cards-Dodgers Betting Odds
As of early Thursday morning the best price we could find on St. Louis and Adam Wainwright was the -113 offered at 5Dimes, while LA and Josh Beckett could be found at +107 at Pinnacle.

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Series Set-Up
Not too long ago LA trailed San Francisco by almost double-digits in the NL West. But the Dodgers have been playing a little better ball lately, and the Giants have hit a cold spell. Consequently, LA has pulled to within three games of Frisco in the NL West. 

The Dodgers just took two of three games in Kansas City, winning Wednesday 5-4. So the Blue Crew has won its last four series, and nine of its last 12 games.

Meanwhile, St. Louis has been trying to catch Milwaukee in the NL Central, but hasn't been able to make up much ground, even as the Brewers have cooled. Heading into Thursday the Cardinals trailed the Brew Crew by 4.5 games.

St. Louis just took two of three games in Colorado, winning Wednesday 9-6. The Cardinals are 4-1-1 in their last six series, winning 12 of their last 17 games.

This is the first meeting between these two teams this season. Last year LA took the season series from St. Louis four games to three, but the Cardinals beat the Dodgers in six games in the NLCS. The totals leaned toward the 'unders' in those games by an 8-5 margin.


Throwing Thursday
Beckett (5-4, 2.28) is 8/14 on quality starts this season, and four for his last four. Last time out he held San Diego scoreless through seven innings (although these days that's not too hard to do), and over his last four starts he's allowed just five ER through 26 innings.

For the season Beckett has allowed just 62 hits in 87 innings, walked 26 and struck out 84. LA is somehow only 6-8 in Beckett's starts, but the totals have leaned toward the 'unders' 8-6.

Beckett's last start against the Cardinals came back in September of 2012, when he held them to one run through 5 1/3 innings of a 2-1 Dodgers loss.

Wainwright (10-3, 2.08) missed a recent start with a sore elbow, took something for it (ouch), then pitched a dandy, holding the Phillies to one run through eight innings last Saturday.

On the season Wainwright is 12/15 on quality starts, and three for his last three, allowing just three runs over his last 23 innings. He's permitted just 78 hits in 108 innings, while posting a K/BB ratio of almost 5/1 (98/21). St. Louis is 12-3 in Wainwright's starts, with the totals leaning 'under' 7-5.

Wainwright started twice against LA last year, allowing five runs and 13 hits in 14 innings; the Cardinals lost both those games, by scores of 3-2 and 2-0. Thanks, bats.

In the comparison of the bullpens for this series St. Louis ranks 16th with a 3.57 ERA, going 26/36 on save opportunities, while the Dodgers rank 19th in ERA at 3.69 while going 26/32 on save chances.


With the Sticks
St. Louis ranks 13th in team OBP at .319, but just 29th in homers with 46 and 24th in scoring at 3.8 runs per game.

LA ranks sixth in OBP at .327, 11th in scoring 4.2 RPG and first in stolen bases with 81.


Cards-Dodgers Betting Trends
LA is eight games over .500 overall, but just 18-20 at home; does that mean the Dodgers are a bad home team? Or should we expect LA to start winning a few more games at home?

St. Louis is 20-19 on the road.

The Cardinals have trended toward the 'unders' this season by a 41-31 margin.

The totals have skewed toward the 'overs' this season 24-11 in Dodgers home games.


Injury Update
LA's Hanley Ramirez is being bothered by a sore shoulder and is questionable for this series. The Dodgers are already playing without Carl Crawford and Juan Uribe, who are both on the DL with various ailments.


Free Pick for Thursday
This is a tough one, but it's not often you can get Wainwright at such a low price. In fact, this is just the second time this season he's been listed at less than -125. So we'll go with St. Louis for our free pick on this series opener.