Postseason Picks for 1st 5 Innings Cardinals vs. Dodgers

Jeff Grant

Wednesday, October 1, 2014 2:15 PM GMT

Wednesday, Oct. 1, 2014 2:15 PM GMT

This MLB handicapper observes that shadows are expected to make things difficult for hitters at Dodger Stadium in the early going Friday, which makes the Cardinals a valuable MLB pick vs. the Dodgers in Game 1.

Been Here Before
St. Louis has advanced to the LCS eight times in the last 14 seasons, which could make this proud franchise playable at MLB odds of +163 to advance past Los Angeles in this best-of-five series, as it earned a spot in the postseason due to capturing the National League Central division.

The Cardinals need catcher Yadier Molina to produce offensively, as he’s a .294 career postseason hitter, but the perennial All-Star has managed to bat just .239 in NLDS play.

MLB handicappers will find that the franchise produced a 39-42 road record during the regular season, while dropping four of seven meetings against its upcoming combatant.

 

A Hearty Lineup
Los Angeles is better equipped to avenge last year’s playoff loss against St. Louis, as Adrian Gonzalez, Matt Kemp and Hanley Ramirez are all healthy heading into matchup, which was demonstrated by the club leading the Majors with 156 runs scored in September.

Dodgers manager Don Mattingly needs to be careful in placing all three of those hitters next to each other in this affair, as they’ve gone a combined 12-for-66 at the plate with no home runs against Friday’s opposing starter.

Over the last two-plus seasons, the Blue Crew have produced an even 5-5 playoff record, with the 'over' going 6-4 in that situation.

 

Wainwright
Cardinals starting pitcher Adam Wainwright (20-9, 2.38 ERA) earned a victory in his last five assignments of the regular season, which earned him National League Pitcher of the Month honors for September in finishing with a 5-0 mark and 1.38 ERA.

The right-hander went 11-6 with a 1.72 ERA in 18 road appearances—surrendering just three round trippers in 130.2 combined frames.

In seven games (six starts) at Dodger Stadium, Wainwright has produced a 1-3 record and 4.30 ERA.

 

Kershaw
Dodgers starting pitcher Clayton Kershaw (21-3, 1.77 ERA) will likely be a three-time Cy Young Award winner when the dust settles this season, especially since the team has won 21 of his last 22 trips to the mound.

The left-hander is 10-2 with a 1.70 ERA in 14 home games, with opposing hitters batting .180 against him (.216 on the road).

In nine career playoff outings, Kershaw has put together a 1-3 record and 4.23 ERA.

 

Prediction
I’m going to recommend that readers back the Cardinals in the first five innings as one of their postseason MLB picks, as both teams will struggle to score early on due to afternoon shadows in Southern California, which ultimately provides value for a high-priced underdog in an even pitching matchup.

Free MLB Pick: St. Louis Cardinals First 5 Innings at BookMaker

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