Pick Dodgers & Cardinals 'Over' 7.5 Friday

Ross Benjamin

Friday, July 18, 2014 2:58 PM GMT

We analyze the Friday evening matchup between the Los Angeles Dodgers and the St. Louis Cardinals. Read on to find out why we have decided to look at the total with our MLB picks in this battle.

National League Elite Square Off
The Cardinals will host the Dodgers on Friday at Busch Stadium in St. Louis Missouri with the first pitch slated for 8:15 PM ET. According to MLB odds the Cardinals are a -125 money line home favorite and the posted total is 7.5. These clubs met in a 4-game series in late June at Los Angeles and the Dodgers won 3 of the 4. The Cardinals have gone 7-4 the last 3-seasons versus the Dodgers at Busch Stadium.

 

The Starting Pitchers
The Cardinals will send right-hander Lance Lynn to the mound tonight. Lynn has gone 3-2 against the money line in his 5 career starts versus the Dodgers while posting a lofty 4.62 ERA and a 1.62 WHIP. In his only start versus Los Angeles this season was on 6/28 at Dodgers Stadium, and the Cardinals hurler was awful. He allowed 6 earned runs and 9-hits in only 2.0 innings of work during a 9-2 loss. Lynn has gone 7-3 against the money line at home this season with a stellar 2.83 ERA.

The Dodgers go with veteran right-hander Dan Haren on the hill this evening. Haren has been erratic over his last 4-starts posting a lofty 6.97 ERA while allowing 5 home runs in 20 2/3 innings. The Cardinals have gone over the total in 6 of the last 7-games in which Haren was their starter. Haren has gone 5-5 against the money line in his starts on the road this season with an unimpressive 5.05 ERA, and has allowed a whopping 11 home runs in just 57.0 innings.

 

Dodgers Offense Stalled before the Break
Despite the fact the Dodgers went 3-2 in their last 5-games prior to the all-star break, their offense was just woeful. In those 5-games the Dodgers scored only 8-runs total and amassed just 30-hits. Putting those numbers into perspective, that’s just 1.6 runs and 6.0 hits per game. The Dodgers have been one of the better road teams in baseball this season going 29-19, but should bettors be quick to add them to their sports picks given tonight's situation?

 

Climbing Cardinals
The Cardinals went 5-2 in their last 7-games before the break. After underachieving for the better part of the first half of the season, they now find themselves just 1.0 game behind the Milwaukee Brewers for the NL Central lead. The big question mark for the Cardinals is how they will handle the loss of their unquestioned leader Yadier Molina. The perennial all-star catcher tore a ligament in his right thumb on 7/9, and is expected to be sidelined for 8 to 12-weeks. At the time of his injury Molina was hitting .287 with 7 home runs and 30 runs batted in. Even more importantly was his defensive prowess, in addition to handling the pitching staff impeccably.

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Final Analysis
Despite the loss of Yadier Molina from the Cardinals batting order, and the recent struggles of the Dodgers offense, I like this game to play on the high side of the total. Both of these starting pitchers have been shaky in recent starts, and the Dodgers bullpen has been terrible on the road this season. When we combine all of this information, it begs us to add the 'over' to our MLB picks tonight.

Free MLB Pick: Dodgers/Cardinals to go over the total of 7.5