Cardinals vs. Dodgers Betting Trends: Joe West Favors Underdogs in Playoff Games
Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Joe West
On Wednesday night, the St. Louis Cardinals take on the Dodgers in Los Angeles in the National League Wildcard Game. The 106-win Dodgers will have Max Scherzer on the mound, while Adam Wainwright will start for St. Louis.
And, notably, polarizing umpire Joe West will be running the show behind home plate on Wednesday night.
Before we look at how West’s past games can potentially give us insights about Wednesday night, let’s touch on these two great squads.
The Cardinals opened as +187 underdogs and the line has stayed steady around that figure. The Dodgers currently stand as -235 home favorites (real-time odds here).
Last season, the Dodgers swept the Milwaukee Brewers in the opening round on their way to a six-game World Series win over the Tampa Bay Rays. They come back with a huge payroll and ridiculous star power to match.
St. Louis lost in the 2020 playoffs to the San Diego Padres, ending a great season from Paul Goldschmidt and Co.
Now back to Joe West.
According to our BetLabs data, which goes back to 2011 in this case, betting underdogs with West behind home plate has been profitable. In 552 games, the underdog has won 261 times (47%) with a 9% return on investment. If a bettor placed $100 on every underdog in this situation, he or she would be up over $5,000.
The postseason data is a much, much smaller sample size. Still, it favors the underdog. In seven playoff games tracked with West calling balls and strikes, underdogs are 5-2 straight up.
Of course, an umpire trend isn’t enough to make a blind betting decision. After all, the Dodgers won the regular-season series with the Cardinals 4-3 and have proven to be the better regular-season team.
But in their most recent matchup on September 9, St. Louis walked away with a 2-1 win behind an excellent night from their bullpen and a big 362-foot home run from Tyler O’Neill.
To be a successful baseball bettor, you need to be able to hit on a number of plus money underdogs to get a decent return on investment (ROI).
Hitting on those types of plus-money underdogs is even harder during the MLB postseason, where there are fewer games than a full regular-season slate.
That means that any advantage that bettors can find is immensely invaluable at this time of year.
So the fact that underdogs have been so successful across more than 500 games with West behind the plate, if you’re considering the Cardinals (+199 at Caesars Sportsbook), it may be a factor that convinces you to click submit.