Date/Time: May 25, 7:15 p.m. EST
Starting Pitchers: St. Louis (Gast) Los Angeles (Lily)
MLB Gambling Odds from WagerWeb
Moneyline: Cardinals (-105) Dodgers (-105)
The St. Louis Cardinals have the best record in the National League. The Cardinals are winning games with both great starting pitching and a terrific lineup. The Dodgers were considered one of the World Series favorites coming into the year, but now Don Mattingly is firmly on the hot seat. This is an important series for the Dodgers.
St. Louis has gotten great pitching from its youngsters so far this year. Shelby Miller’s success has been well documented, but the rest of the youngsters that St. Louis has used this year have been great as well. Josh Gast has put together two pretty good efforts in starts against the Mets and the Brewers in his first two major league starts. Gast doesn’t have overpowering stuff, but he has good command of all his pitches. The Cardinals are first in the majors in overall team ERA. This pitching staff has an ERA of just 3.17.
The Cardinals are hitting .269 as a team, and the depth of this offense is really impressive. St. Louis has some very good hitters batting way down in the order. When you have guys like David Freese and Yadier Molina batting near the bottom of the order, you must be loaded offensively. Matt Carpenter, Allen Craig, Carlos Beltran, and Yadier Molina are all hitting .300 or better for the Cardinals. Interestingly, the Cardinals are 17-8 on the road so far this year.
The Los Angeles Dodgers have been one of the most disappointing teams in baseball this year. Don Mattingly is on the hot seat because this team with a huge payroll just isn’t getting the job done on the field. There isn’t one particularly part of the team that deserves to be blamed more than another. In general, the Dodgers just aren’t playing well. Clayton Kershaw continues to win games and throw gems for the Dodgers, but other than him the Dodgers aren’t getting good starting pitching. Ted Lilly has been dinged up this year, but the team really needs him to get it going and provide another quality starter for this rotation.
Offensively, the Dodgers have been unable to come through in big spots. Despite having a decent .256 team batting average, the Dodgers are 28th in the majors in runs scored per game at 3.47 per contest. Matt Kemp has heated up a little bit of late, but he only has two home runs in 174 at bats this year. The Dodgers need a lot more out of their star outfielder. Hanley Ramirez’s injury really has slowed down this offense as well. Andre Ethier has struggled all season, and he has been benched a lot lately.
Free Pick: Cardinals ML
The Cardinals are the better team, and at this reasonable price I’ll side with the road team here.