Tis the season for scoreboard watching. With both the St. Louis Cardinals and Los Angeles Dodgers fighting for a playoff spot, every game is important. Currently, the St. Louis Cardinals sit 2.5 games behind the Chicago Cubs for first in the NL Central, but would make the playoffs if the season ended today as a wild card team. For the Dodgers, they sit 3 games out of the NL West and are 2.5 games out of the wild card. After winning the first two games of the series, the Cardinals (70-57) will be looking for the sweep when they travel to Dodger Stadium to take on the Dodgers (67-60).
The Cardinals will be sending Jack Flaherty (7-6, 3.05 ERA) to the mound while the Dodgers will counter with Walker Buehler (6-4, 3.19 ERA). First pitch is scheduled for 10:10 pm ET.
The moneyline for Wednesday night’s game is set at the St. Louis Cardinals +145 and the Los Angeles Dodgers -155. The over/under for runs scored is set at 8.
Cardinals Have Been Rolling As Of Late
The Cardinals have been one of the hottest teams in the month of August going 16-4 and that has gotten them right back into playoff contention. Trying to keep it going they will look to Jack Flaherty. The right-hander is 7-6 with a 3.05 ERA, 1.08 WHIP and opponents are hitting just .201 against him. In 109.1 innings he has 134 strikeouts, 39 walks and has allowed 15 home runs. Flaherty has gone 3-0 over his last 3 starts, going a combined 19 innings, allowing only 2 earned runs and striking out 23. If he can continue that type of dominance it may keep the surging Cardinals hot. For the Nats, only Brian Dozier has ever faced Flaherty and he is 1 for 2 in limited at bats.
Offensively, Matt Carpenter is making himself a real player in the NL MVP race. On the season, Carpenter is hitting .273/.318/.582 with a .969 OPS. He has 34 home runs, 69 runs batted in and has scored 85 runs. What is even more remarkable is that he has these stats despite have a really poor start to the season. In the last 30 days, Carpenter has 9 home runs, 16 runs batted in and has scored 20 runs.
The Cardinals also added to their offense on Tuesday by claiming first baseman Matt Adams from the Nationals. On the season with the Nats, Adams is hitting .257/.332/.510 with a .842 OPS. He has 18 home runs, 48 runs batted in and 37 runs scored. The Cardinals are hoping that he can add more depth to a lineup that has already been clicking as of late.
Dodgers Trying To Claw Back Into Playoff Race
Every time the Dodgers think they are back on track, their inconsistency creeps up again. After getting into first place in the NL West, the Dodgers have gone 3-7 over their last 10 games and now sit 3 games behind the Arizona Diamondbacks and 2 games behind the second place Colorado Rockies. Trying to right the ship, the Dodgers will send Walker Buehler to the mound Wednesday. On the season, Buehler is 6-4 with a 3.19 ERA, 1.04 WHIP and opponents are hitting .217 against him. In 87.1 innings, he has struck out 93 and walked 21. In his last outing, Buehler picked up a win after going 6 innings, allowing 1 earned run and 8 strikeouts in an 11-1 win over the Seattle Mariners.
On the offensive side, Justin Turner has been the Dodgers hottest hitter as of late. Since coming off the disabled list, Turner is hitting .422/.507/.750 with a 1.257 OPS in 17 games. In that stretch he has had 4 home runs, 10 runs batted in and has scored 16 runs. To get back in the race, the Dodgers are going to need both the pitching and offense to finish the season strong.
Cardinals Finish The Sweep
In the month of August, it is hard to bet against the Cardinals. They have been playing some of the hottest Baseball in the league and after winning the first two games of the series, there is no reason to think they can’t do it again in game three. Especially getting favorable odds, with the Cardinals coming in with a moneyline of +145, I have to put my money on them. Take the Cardinals.