MLB Picks: Win Your Cardinals vs. Dodgers Bet Tonight!

Sunday, May 15, 2016 1:00 PM GMT

The visiting St. Louis Cardinals will attempt to avoid a sweep at the hands of the NL West leading Dodgers tonight. Let's analyze this matchup and cash a ticket in our MLB picks.

St. Louis Cardinals (19-18, -2.00 units)
The Cardinals dearth of pitching has confounded the team this season and so it was again that last night another starter failed to go further than five innings before getting the hook. That dubious distinction belonged to Carlos Martinez who watched his team come up short in a 5-3 loss to Big Blue after allowing four earned runs on five hits. It was the team's second consecutive defeat and they must now try to salvage the final game of this three-game set in Los Angeles.

St. Louis is entrusting veteran right-hander Mike Leake (1-3, 5.10) to help avoid the series sweep as he looks to build upon his first win as a St. Louis Cardinal in his previous start. Leake allowed just one run over eight innings pitched against the Angels leading to an 8-1 victory . The former Cincinnati Red is 3-4 over his career against the Dodgers with an ERA of 3.86 and a WHIP of 1.061. His teams' record is 3-4 (-1.7 units) in these starts.


 

LA Dodgers (20-17, -2.8 units)
If you had the foresight to include the LA Dodgers in your MLB picks recently then you are enjoying their 6-2 run over their last eight games. Big Blue got a strong outing from Scott Kazmir who came within one out of pitching a complete game in yesterday 5-3 win over the Cardinals. The Dodgers are middling offensively this season but their pitching has been among the league's best with the 7th best team ERA (3.41) and the 2nd ranked staff in terms of opposition batting average (.221).

LA's No. 3 man in the rotation, Alex Wood (1-3, 4.58 ERA), will be making his first career start against the Cardinals. In his eight career home starts as a Dodger, he is 4-2 with a 2.00 ERA and holding opposition batters to a .194 average. Wood rebounded from a lackluster performance against Tampa Bay, where he allowed five runs (four earned) on six hits in an 8-5 loss, to toss six plus innings against the Mets surrendering just one earned run in the club's 3-2 victory on Tuesday night.

 

Betting Analysis
We pretty much know what we are going to get with veteran Mike Leake who took the money, all $80 million of it, and ran from Cincinnati all the way to St. Louis in the offseason. The problem has been that Leake has had difficulty adjusting to his new surroundings until his last outing when he looked like the No. 2 man in the rotation the Cardinals' brass thought they had signed. Make no mistake, Leake is not headed to Cooperstown but he can be dominating when in the groove.

Now we turn to the Dodgers' mercurial starter Alex Wood. His rollercoaster season continued as Wood had nine K's in his last performance and threw first-pitch strikes to 18 of the 24 Met batters he faced. Wood has allowed just a single earned run on three occasions, and a combined 17 earned runs in his four other starts. It is all or nothing with Wood and that is a dangerous place to be when you're putting your hard earned money on a team led by a pitcher who may or may not decide to show up.

As I review the MLB odds in this one I have to consider that the St. Louis offense is amongst the best in either league ranking 3rd in runs scored, 6th in team batting average, 4th in on base percentage and 2nd in slugging percentage. As encouraging as Alex Wood's last performance was I cannot help but think he will have a miserable time of it against a Cardinals' lineup that will torch him unless he is completely locked on.

I feel that Mike Leake is far more likely to repeat his impressive performance in his last start than Alex Wood and will have an easier time of it against a Dodgers' offense that is merely serviceable this season as opposed to the Cards' batters who can eat a pitcher alive.

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Free MLB Pick:  Cardinals +136
Best Line Offered: at Pinnacle
2016 MLB Record: 19-11, +7.35 units