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St. Louis Cardinals vs. Los Angeles Dodgers 2014 NLDS Series Pick, Odds, Prediction

St. Louis Cardinals (90-72) at Los Angeles Dodgers (94-68)

MLB Baseball

St. Louis Cardinals vs. Los Angeles Dodgers

The Line: See the Latest Odds

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The St. Louis Cardinals and Los Angeles Dodgers will play a five-game NLDS that begins Friday in LA. The season series between these two teams was highly competitive with the Dodgers winning, 4-3.

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St. Louis Cardinals vs. Los Angeles Dodgers 2014 NLDS Series Pick, Odds, Prediction

USA TODAY Sports

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The Dodgers are -190 to win this series, while you can hit it big with odds of +165 if the Cardinals win it.

I personally don’t see how anybody can back the Cardinals to win this series and odds under -200 is actually pretty good value in possibly the most lopsided series of the postseason. The Dodgers have the advantage in both offense and pitching, and they also have the home field advantage against a team that had a losing record on the road.

The Cardinals are the worst offensive team of any in the playoffs, ranked 23rd in runs scored and 14th in batting average. The Cards finished nine of their last 12 games scoring three or less runs and put a tremendous amount of pressure on their pitching staff to be lights out each and every night. Yes, a pitching rotation made up of Adam Wainwright, Lance Lynn and John Lackey is one of the best in the business, however, holding a Dodgers lineup nearly scoreless each game is impossible.

The Dodgers have been held to three or less runs in just 71 of 162 games, which means less than 44 percent of a long season LA’s offense was kept under control. That’s not great numbers if you’re a Cardinals backer hoping St. Louis can pull off the daunting task in a short series. Guys like Matt Kemp, Hanley Ramirez and Juan Uribe are hit over .300 in the month of September, and that doesn’t include a player like Adrian Gonzalez, who had 25 RBIs last month.

Meanwhile, the St. Louis Cardinals offense was held to one or less runs in 37 of their 162 games, which is close to 23 percent of their games resulting in nearly no offense. The Cardinals are going to need a lot more than Matt Holliday and Jhonny Peralta if they’re going to compete with the Dodgers loaded offensive lineup that can drop double-digit runs at the drop of a hat.

I guess there’s some value in the St. Louis Cardinals if you’re that big of a believer in their pitching staff. But I’m not sure where the runs come from, especially when the Dodgers are throwing out Clayton Kershaw, Dan Haren and Zack Greinke.

I don’t love the juice we’re paying here, and there’s better odds on the other series. But I just don’t see the St. Louis Cardinals having much of a shot making it out of the NLDS.

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Los Angeles Dodgers -190

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