St. Louis Cardinals at Los Angeles Dodgers - 10/3/14 2014 NLDS Free Pick, Odds, Prediction
St. Louis Cardinals (90-72) at Los Angeles Dodgers (94-68)
MLB Baseball: Friday, October 3, 2014 at 6:37 pm (Dodger Stadium)
Adam Wainwright (R) (20-9) (2.379) vs. Clayton Kershaw (L) (20-3) (1.797)
The Line: Los Angeles Dodgers -200 / St. Louis Cardinals +185 --- Over/Under: 5.5 See the Latest Odds
TV: Fox Sports 1
The St. Louis Cardinals and Los Angeles Dodgers will play game 1 of the NLDS Friday afternoon.
USA TODAY Sports
While the St. Louis Cardinals are no stranger to the postseason, they head into this series with some major question marks, especially on the offensive side. The Cardinals are ranked 23rd in the majors in runs scored and finished nine of their last 12 games scoring three or less runs. Matt Carpenter and Matt Holliday are the only St. Louis players who scored more than 80 runs this season, and the veteran bats are going to need to step up big if the Cards are to have any chance of winning this series. The St. Louis Cardinals are 29th in the league with 105 home runs, which has a lot to do with their offensive struggles, as they have to play a lot of small ball to put numbers on the board. The good news for St. Louis is that the Cardinals pitching staff is terrific, including Adam Wainwright, who takes the hill Friday and is 20-9 with a 2.38 ERA and has 179 strikeouts in 227 innings. In the postseason, Wainwright is 4-3 with a 2.53 ERA and has 76 strikeouts in 67.2 innings.
The Los Angeles Dodgers are one of the more balanced team in all of baseball, ranked sixth in runs scored and sixth in team ERA. The Dodgers have one of the scarier lineups you’re going to see in the postseason, which is headlined by guys such as Adrian Gonzalez, Matt Kemp, Hanley Ramirez and Yasiel Puig. The Dodgers have scored four or more runs in 13 of their last 15 games and have won 27 of their last 31 games when that’s the case. As if the combination of contact and power wasn’t enough to deal with, Dee Gordon, who has 64 stolen bases, is expected to play in this game despite dealing with a hip injury. The Dodgers are an offensive nightmare. Taking the mound in game 1 will be Clayton Kershaw, who is 21-3 with a 1.77 ERA and has 239 strikeouts in 198.1 innings. In the postseason, Kershaw is 1-3 with a 4.23 ERA and has 39 strikeouts in 38.1 innings.
If there's one pitching matchup to be excited about in the postseason, it's this one. Both Wainwright and Kershaw are is as good as it gets and both have been terrific this season as usual. That's why I'm taking a shot with the Cardinals given the price. Yes, Kershaw is a beast, the Dodgers are at home and have the better lineup, but if anybody can overcome the odds and take over the game by himself, it's Wainwright.
I just can't lay -200 odds in the playoffs when there's one of the best pitchers in bseball on the other side.