National League Division Series Game 3: Los Angeles Dodgers at St. Louis Cardinals

Date/Time: October 6, 9:07 p.m. ET

TV: FOX Sports 1

MLB Betting Odds From 5Dimes Sportsbook

Probable Starters: LAD: Hyun-jin Ryu (0-0, 0.00) v. STL: John Lackey (0-0, 0.00)

Moneyline: St. Louis -112

Total: 7.5

The St. Louis Cardinals had to be happy to return home with a split after facing Clayton Kershaw and Zack Greinke over the first two games of their series with the Los Angeles Dodgers. The Cardinals were a National League-best 51-30 at home, tied with the Washington Nationals for the most home wins. Now in a best-of-three series, the Dodgers will send Hyun-jin Ryu to the mound against John Lackey. There’s no word yet on if Clayton Kershaw will be able to start Game 4, but for now, the focus is on Ryu and Lackey.

Hyun-jin Ryu put together another fine season in his second season in the Major Leagues. The Korean southpaw was 14-7 with a 3.38 ERA this season, but he made just 26 starts and has not pitched since September 12. That is definitely a concern for the Dodgers, as Ryu is a guy that relies on tremendous command and control. Ryu left after just one inning in his September 12 start with shoulder inflammation. Including that bad start, in which he allowed four runs on five hits in one inning, Ryu was 7-2 with a 2.87 ERA in nine starts since the All-Star Break. Ryu made two starts last postseason. He was terrible in his ALDS start against the Atlanta Braves with four runs allowed over three innings, but he was much better in the ALCS against the Cardinals with seven shutout innings in a Dodgers win.

John Lackey was very strong in the postseason for the World Series champion Boston Red Sox in the 2013 playoffs. Over 26 innings, Lackey was 3-1 with a hold and a 2.77 ERA. Lackey gave up one run on nine hits over 7.2 innings of work in the World Series against the Cardinals. Lackey was 3-3 with a 4.30 ERA after the Cardinals acquired him just prior to the trade deadline. In four September starts, Lackey was just 1-2 with a 4.43 ERA. He has not pitched since September 24. The layoff may have been good for Lackey, who threw 215.1 innings in 2013 after missing the entire 2012 season.

Ryu is 1-1 with a 1.93 ERA in two regular season starts against the Cardinals. He gave up three runs on nine hits with seven strikeouts in his only start against them this season. He was spectacular in his postseason start against them in 2013 with seven shutout innings. The Dodgers are 16-10 for a profit of 3.27 units in Ryu’s 26 starts.

Lackey is 5-3 with a 1.93 ERA in 11 career appearances, 10 starts, against the Dodgers. Lackey has only faced the Dodgers once since 2009. In that 2013 start, Lackey allowed two runs on three hits over eight innings. The Cardinals are 6-4 for a profit of 1.90 units in Lackey’s 10 starts.

Free MLB Pick: St. Louis Cardinals

Hyun-jin Ryu is likely to be on a pitch count as a 45-pitch simulated game is the only real action he has seen outside of bullpen sessions. The Cardinals have plenty of problems with lefties, but Ryu is sure to be rusty after such a long layoff and he probably won’t work deep into the game. John Lackey has plenty of postseason experience and the extended layoff should have helped him, as he seemed to be running out of gas towards the end of the season.