I’m just going to assume that the St. Louis Cardinals will be coming off a loss Tuesday when the face the Dodgers in Los Angeles on Wednesday in Game 2 of a three-game set. Why? Because they have to face Clayton Kershaw on Tuesday. Things are a bit easier on Wednesday, but the Dodgers should still be MLB betting favorites. The Dodgers are coming off a weekend series hosting the Miami Marlins with a 4 game series, which ended at 3-1. The Cardinals are coming off a losing effort this weekend against the San Francisco Giants, ending the series 1-2.
St. Louis Cardinals at LA Dodgers MLB Betting Preview & Game Info
— St. Louis Cardinals (@Cardinals) May 22, 2017
When: Wednesday, May 24, 10:10 PM ET
Where: Dodger Stadium, LA
Probable pitchers (away/home): Mike Leake/Rich Hill
TV: MLB Network
Radio: St. Louis / Los Angeles
Opening MLB Lines: Dodgers favored by TBA
Why Bet On St. Louis?
On Saturday, the Cardinals traded Matt Adams to the Atlanta Braves along with cash considerations for 19 year-old minor leaguer Juan Yepez. Adams is a prime example of how part-time work reduces a player’s trade value. GM John Mozeliak would have moved him over the winter had an attractive offer come his way, but interest was tepid.
The Cards entered this series having lost four of their past five but avoided a weekend home sweep at the hands of the Giants with an 8-3 win Sunday. St. Louis catcher Yadier Molina extended his hitting streak to 11 games with a single in the third. He has reached safely in his last 16 games. Cardinals INF Jhonny Peralta is 4 for 5 since returning from the disabled list Friday. He missed 26 games with an upper respiratory ailment. Peralta singled twice and walked in his first three trips to the plate Sunday.
Both Peralta and manager Mike Matheny stressed making sure the third baseman was truly ready for big league action before activating him because of the seriousness of the illness. With Jedd Gyorko one of the Cardinals’ best hitters nearly two months into the season, it remains to be seen what role Peralta will fill. He has lost the third base job.
“My body didn’t feel right before,” Peralta said, “so I took my time, the time that I needed, and worked in the minor leagues with what I needed. And if I felt ready in my body I knew that I could come here, and that’s what I did.”
It’s Mike Leake (4-2, 2.03) on the mound for the Cards. He leads the NL in ERA but the Cards have dropped his past two. Leake wasn’t involved in the decision after allowing two runs in seven innings Wednesday against the Red Sox. Leake is still sitting pretty with a 2.03 ERA, but he has given up four homers in his last three starts after going without one in his first five. All eight of his outings have been quality starts, and he has a WHIP of 0.99.
There is some BABIP-driven luck going on here (seventh-lowest among starters) for Leake. There is also a high strand rate (eighth-best among starters). His rate of home runs on fly balls — 13.5 percent in his career (which was also his 2016 rate) — is at 8.5 percent.
Why Bet On LA Dodgers?
The Dodgers have won four of five entering the series. Yasiel Puig (back) struck out as a pinch-hitter in Sunday’s game against the Marlins. Puig was held out of the starting lineup for the second straight day due to back tightness, but it seems like he’s moving in the right direction. Consider him day-to- day. Prior to Sunday’s game, Los Angeles Dodgers manager Dave Roberts dismissed any concern over Adrian Gonzalez and his sluggish, albeit in a small sample size, return from the 10-day disabled list. “His timing is a little off,” Roberts said.
Gonzalez finished 3-for- 4 with two doubles and three RBI in the 6-3 victory Sunday. The multi-double game was Gonzalez’s first since April 23. With one double, he had his first extra-base hit since April 25. What’s more, the three-hit game was Gonzalez’s first since Aug. 22, 2016. For the veteran first baseman, the results were simply a byproduct of health. The DL stint was a first for Gonzalez, who appeared in 1,833 games before ultimately going inactive.
“My body is definitely better,” Gonzalez said. “I told you guys all along as long as my body feels good, I was going to come back. The first two games it was trying to get back into the rhythm, [Sunday] I felt good.”
The Dodgers optioned LHP Julio Urias to Triple-A Oklahoma City. Urias gave up 13 runs — 12 earned — over his last two starts and holds an 11/14 K/BB ratio over 23 1/3 innings this season. There are bright days ahead for the young southpaw, but the Dodgers are overloaded with rotation options right now. Reliever Josh Ravin was recalled from Triple-A.
It’s lefty Rich Hill on the bump here. Hill (1-1, 2.77) returned from the disabled list last Tuesday and tossed five innings of one-run ball against the Giants. He walked none and struck out six in a 2-1 loss. His only blemish on the night came in the bottom of the 4th inning when he dished up a home run to Giants first baseman, Brandon Belt. After making his way through the 5th inning, Roberts decided to pull him at just 82 pitches.
The veteran made a successful return to the mound both in results and health, experiencing no lingering issues with the blistered finger that landed him on the disabled list twice this season. With the solid outing, it appears that Hill has avoided a demotion to the bullpen. That could change if his blister troubles resurface.
St. Louis Cardinals at LA Dodgers MLB Betting Pick: LA Dodgers
Leake has been fantastic this season, but he’s just not that guy.