Los Angeles finished the first half of the season winning nine of its last 13 games, but finds itself in a position of possibly getting swept this afternoon.  The Dodgers have been outscored 17-5 in the first three games of this series in St. Louis.  This remains a common them for Los Angeles, with the club winning just three times in 17 tries at the new Busch Stadium since it opened in 2006.  The club has gone 18-11 in series finales this season, as they look to avoid getting swept for just the fourth time this season.  Despite dropping the first three games of this series, the team is still 17-14 against NL Central opponents, led by outfielder Andre Ethier batting .379 in those games.  The Dodgers are an even 12-12 in day games this season (-140) with the total being 10-13-1 O/U.

Dodgers starting pitcher Vicente Padilla is 4-2 with a 4.04 ERA in nine starts this season and is enjoying a current three-game winning streak.  He has been one of the league’s hottest pitchers since returning from the disabled list on June 19, going 3-1 with a 2.38 ERA and holding opponents to a .183 combined average.  The right-hander is 19-6 in 35 games (34 starts) on the road since the start of the 2008 season.  Last year, Padilla went 6-0 with a 2.83 ERA in 11 games (10 starts) against NL opponents and has gone 10-2 with a 4.03 ERA in 19 games (18 starts) versus the Senior Circuit since the start of the 2008 season.  He is 2-1 with a 3.68 ERA in seven games (three starts) in his career against the Cardinals.

St. Louis will look to win five straight for the first time since April 25-29 this afternoon.  “Everybody’s contributing.  Hopefully we’ll just keep rolling,” shortstop Brendan Ryan said.  The team is just an even 3-3 on the year after picking up three or more consecutive wins (-190) and 24-27 in the situation the last three years (-980).  The Cardinals are an amazing 38-14 in the first series following the All-Star break under the direction of manager Tony LaRussa, including a dominating 22-5 mark at home.  St. Louis will find itself as a home underdog of +125 to +150 for the first time this season, producing a 3-2 mark in this role the last three seasons (+200).

Cardinals starting pitcher Jeff Suppan is still searching for his first victory of the season, going a combined 0-5 in 20 games (seven starts) with Milwaukee and St. Louis.  The right-hander has received just 2.2 runs of support since returning to the Cardinals, with the club going 1-4 in his five games.  He has failed to reach the sixth inning in any of his starts this season, which brings the bullpen into play this afternoon.  Suppan is 0-3 with a 6.04 ERA in nine home outings (four starts), allowing an incredible 43 hits and walking 12 in just 25.1 frames.  He is an even 4-4 with a 4.02 ERA in 12 career outings against the Dodgers, tossing two shutout frames against them in relief earlier this season.

Bettors will not find much of an edge with the Dodgers being shutout yesterday, as the team is 6-4 in this situation in 2010 (+210) and 16-15 the last three years (-170).  The road team is a solid 37-27 against right-handers this season and will not be facing anything near the quality of Adam Wainwright in Suppan.  The Cardinals are just 5-4 in games after shutting out an opponent (-70).