With Wacha On The Mound, Cardinals & Dodgers Will Keep Scores 'Under' 7.5

Matthew Jordan

Friday, May 13, 2016 5:20 PM GMT

It's interesting whenever the Dodgers and Cardinals play as they are the two most successful franchises in NL history. Let's see what the MLB odds have for us in this game!

St. Louis Cardinals vs. Los Angeles Dodgers

What You Need To Know
It would feel weird to see the National  League playoffs without either St. Louis or Los Angeles. The Cardinals have made it each of the past five years and have won the NL Central the past three. The Dodgers have won the NL West the past three seasons. But it's quite possible neither does make  it in 2016. St. Louis is going to have to make it as a wild-card team because the division-rival Chicago Cubs look like clearly the best team in baseball and are running away with the NL Central title already. The Dodgers could still win the West again as that division is very mediocre. But then again, so is L.A. thus far.

At least St. Louis didn't have to travel for this series as it finished up a three-game set at the crosstown Angels on Thursday. The Cardinals are above .500 largely because they have crushed the bad teams. Entering Thursday, they are 13-5 against sub-.500 opponents and averaging around eight runs per game. So obviously they are well below-.500 against winning teams. The Dodgers closed a contentious four-game home series with the Mets on Thursday. L.A. hasn't won a home series since taking two of three from the Giants from April 15-17.

The Cardinals won five of seven meetings against the Dodgers in 2015, including three of four in Los Angeles. Jhonny Peralta killed L.A. pitching, going 11-for-25 with five runs, three  doubles, two homers and eight RBIs, but he has yet to play in the majors this season for St. Louis due to torn ligaments in his thumb. Peralta was cleared to swing a bat for the first time this week and is likely to start a minor-league rehab assignment around May 21. So he could still make it back late this month. Justin Turner was the best Dodger against St. Louis pitching last year, going 9-for-21 with two doubles and three RBIs. Adrian Gonzalez struggled in hitting .174 with no RBIs. Joc Pederson hit .160 with 11 strikeouts.

Two top NL Rookie of the Year candidates and good young shortstops will be on display here in the Cardinals' Aledmys Diaz and Dodgers' Corey Seager. Diaz likely will have to move positions when Peralta comes back. Seager was the heavy preseason ROY betting favorite on MLB odds at sportsbooks. He quite lived up to that yet.

 

Probable Pitchers
The Cardinals start right-hander Michael Wacha (2-3, 3.12). He lost his third straight start last Sunday against Pittsburgh, allowing four earned runs (tying a season high) and six hits over six innings, striking out six and walking two. Home runs have been an issue in that losing streak as he has allowed four of them, accounting six of the eight runs he has given up. It's only the second three-game losing streak in Wacha's career. The Cards are 1-5 on MLB picks in his past six road starts.

Last year, Wacha was 1-1 vs. the Dodgers. On May 30 at home, Wacha lost in allowing four runs and three hits over 5.2 innings. In Los Angeles, he won by allowing one run and seven hit over seven innings. Yasmani Grandal is 1-for-5 career off him with a homer and three RBIs. Gonzalez is 1-for-5 with three strikeouts. Turner is 3-for-5 with a double and walk. Chase Utley is 1-for-3 with two RBIs.

Los Angeles starts rookie right-hander Ross Stripling (0-2, 3.82). You may remember he threw 7.1 no-hit innings in his big-league debut on April 8 in San Francisco but had to be pulled because he was at the 100-pitch mark. The bullpen blew that. Stripling has been inconsistent since that unlikely debut. He was very good Sunday in Toronto, though, allowing one run and just one hit over six innings in a no-decision. He struck out six and didn't allow a walk for the first time this season. Stripling has never faced the Cardinals but he knows Wacha well as they were former teammates at Texas A&M. Go Cardinals and 'under.' St. Louis is 9-1 in Wacha's past 10 starts in Game 1 of a series. The Dodgers are 1-6 in their past seven series openers. The 'under' is 5-0-1 in Stripling's six starts. The 'under' is 4-1 in the past five meetings in L.A.

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Free MLB Pick: Under 7.5 -120
Best Line Offered: at Bookmaker