St. Louis Cardinals at Los Angeles Dodgers Pick 8/21/18
Time: 10:10 PM ET
Where: Dodger Stadium, Los Angeles, CA
Listed Pitchers: Daniel Poncedeleon (St. L) & Hyun-Jin Ryu (LA)
TV: ESPN, FS – Midwest
Moneyline: St. Louis +160/Los Angeles -170 (5dimes Sportsbook)
The Cardinals are running hot at the moment, playing themselves back into the thick of the National League playoff race. And they opened this series with the Dodgers in LA with a late-inning victory. Do we ride St. Louis with our daily free MLB picks for Tuesday’s game?
Tuesday’s MLB betting odds opened Los Angeles at around -160 over St. Louis, with an over/under of 8 runs. Early betting action then bumped the Dodgers about a dime, to around -170.
LA could also be found getting around +115 giving the run and a half on the MLB run line.
The Cardinals grabbed Game 1 of this series Monday night 5-3. That game was tied at 3-3 into the top of the ninth inning, before Jedd Gyorko and Matt Carpenter connected for back-to-back home runs off Los Angeles closer Kenley Jansen for the winning margin.
With the victory St. Louis cashed in as +185 underdogs on the MLB betting lines, while the Dodgers fell as -200 favorites.
The Cardinals are now 11-2 over their last 13 games and 22-11 since changing managers.
LA, meanwhile, is 3-7 over its last 10 games.
Big-picture, at 69-57 overall St. Louis trails the first-place Cubs by 3.5 games in the NL Central, but is now tied with Colorado and Philadelphia for the No. 2 spot in the National League wild-card race.
At 67-59 the Dodgers trail first-place Arizona by 2.5 games in the NL West, and they sit two games back in the battle for that second NL wild-card slot.
This series is the first meeting between these two teams this season. Last season Los Angeles took four of seven games from St. Louis.
Lefty Ryu (3-0, 1.77), by our strict standards, is 4/7 on quality starts this season, and one for one since coming off the disabled list last week. Last Wednesday he held San Francisco scoreless on three hits through six innings, with zero walks and six strikeouts. And the Dodgers won that game 4-3. On the season LA is 5-2 with Ryu, with unders going 4-3.
In one start last year against the Cardinals Ryu allowed just one run and three hits through six innings of a game Los Angeles lost 2-1.
Righty rookie Poncedeleon (0-0, 2.04) is 1/1 on quality starts this year, to go along with five appearances in relief. Most recently he tossed an inning of scoreless relief against Milwaukee Saturday, although last Wednesday he gave up two runs and four hits in two innings against Washington. In his only start of this season, back on July 23, Ryu held Cincinnati scoreless on zero hits through seven innings of a game St. Louis eventually lost 2-1.
This will be Poncedeleon’s first-ever outing against the Dodgers, which could give him an edge, at least for the first couple of times through the lineup.
We’ll give LA and Ryu the edge in this pitching match-up, although not by much.
The Cardinals rank 12th in the Majors this season against left-handed pitching with a .254 team batting average, eighth with a .333 team OBP and eighth with a .425 team slugging percentage.
The Dodgers rank 10th against right-handed pitching with a .252 BA, third with a .333 OBP and second with a .452 slugging percentage.
LA may own a slight edge with the sticks here, but again, not by much.
The St. Louis bullpen ranks 20th in the ML with a 4.19 ERA and 22nd with a 1.40 WHIP.
The Los Angeles pen ranks 13th in ERA at 3.91 and eighth in WHIP at 1.24. This unit just got its closer back Monday but Jansen gave up a pair of long balls for the loss.
With Jansen an iffy proposition at the moment we’ll call the bullpen comparison here a push.
Unders are 32-28 in games played at Dodger Stadium this year, which are averaging 8.1 total runs per.
Unders went 5-2 in Cards-Dodgers games last year, and Monday’s game played under a total of 8.5.
St. Louis is hot, while LA is struggling, and when it comes to betting baseball that’s often all you need to know. And that underdog price is tempting. We’re betting the Cardinals Tuesday night.