A difference of two games in the standings is on the line Thursday afternoon when the Los Angeles Dodgers and St. Louis Cardinals wrap up their 4-game series at Busch Stadium. How have baseball odds makers lined tonight's game, and where are we placing our MLB picks.
The getaway contest begins at a quarter to two when St. Louis' Jake Westbrook
delivers the first toss. Los Angeles counters with
10-game winner Chris Capuano in a clash of pitching styles.
Overnight MLB odds made the Cardinals -140 favorites with
the 9 run total initially priced evenly high and low. The moneyline has dropped a few pennies in
most places, but we'll call it -140 for ease of conversation. Early action on the UNDER has driven that
price 10¢ extra at most baseball betting shops monitored by SBRodds.
will be out to earn a split after dropping Wednesday's
12-inning match. Halving the 4-game
set, though a preferable outcome for the Dodgers, means both teams will have
fallen an extra half-game back of their respective division winners this week.
All the signs pointed to the third game of the series being
a high-scoring affair, but that never came about in St. Louis' 3-2 decision. Starting pitchers Aaron Harang and Kyle Lohse
entered the contest having struggled in the past vs. the opposition, but each
posted quality starts in defiance of that history. Only two of the five total runs came home on
hits, with the other three scoring on plays in which at least one out was
recorded. Not exactly an offensive
Thursday's mound duel is another collision of pitchers who
have done poorly overall against the opponents they'll be facing, though in
Westbrook's case, it's a very short sample. This is also a pitching duel of contrasting styles; Capuano relies more
on fly balls and strikeouts while Westbrook is one of the more pronounced
ground ball hurlers in the majors.
Another difference between the two is there home-road
splits. Capuano has been far better at
home than on the road; Westbrook has produced better results away from St. Louis than at Busch.
Capuano's career stats against the Redbirds include a 5.33
ERA and 5-5 record in 14 starts and a relief appearance. Three of those victories came in the 2005
season and were due more to support from the Milwaukee Brewers lineup than
Capuano's fine pitching.
Westbrook had never started against the Dodgers until this
past May when he took the mound in LA. The Dodgers plated four of their six runs that game during his 6.1
innings while Clayton Kershaw was authoring a 6-0 shutout for the home
squad. Westbrook's only other experience
came in a couple of interleague relief outings way back in 2003.
two new pieces paid immediate dividends on Wednesday, albeit in a losing
effort. Hanley Ramirez stroked a pair of
hits including a triple, and scored one run for the Dodgers while driving the
other. Randy Choate tossed a perfect
inning of relief for LA.
We started this series off by noting the Dodgers bullpen was
a bit drained while the Cardinals relief corps was well-rested. That may have swung around some heading into
today's finale. Don Mattingly should
have the services of his top two relievers, Javy Guerra and Kenly Jansen, while
Mike Matheny used closer Jason Motte for two innings on Wednesday and has called
on Mitchell Boggs each of the last two games.
Another hot, muggy day in St. Louis has me liking the two offenses to
shoot past that 9-run total, but I've been horrible this season betting the
OVER so I don't recommend anyone follow that advice. My baseball betting picks will go down on the home team to take its