MLB Odds, Preview, Prediction for Cardinals vs. Dodgers: The L.A. Offense Should Expose Martinez (Wednesday, June 2)
Gary Coronado / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images. Pictured: Max Muncy and Cody Bellinger
- The Cardinals and Dodgers play a rubber match on Wednesday night after St. Louis was able to pick up a win last night with a go-ahead run in the ninth.
- Walker Buehler starts tonight for L.A. and will face the Cardinals' Carlo Martinez.
- Mike Ianniello explains below why he likes the Dodgers and their offense to excel.
Cardinals vs. Dodgers Odds
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The three game series between the St. Louis Cardinals and Los Angeles Dodgers will be decided Wednesday night. The Dodgers took Game 1 with a commanding 9-4 victory, then St. Louis bounced back in Game 2 and won 3-2 after scoring the go-ahead run in the top of the ninth.
The Cardinals (31-24) sit a half game back of first place in the NL Central, while the Dodgers (32-23) are in third place in the NL West and two games behind San Francisco.
Cardinals’ Martinez Can’t Strike Anyone Out
After looking line on of the worst pitchers in baseball last year, Carlos Martinez (RHP) has looked much better this season, although he is still not somebody I totally trust. After posting an 0-3 record and 7.80 ERA through the first three starts of the season, Martinez has settled in a bit and enters Wednesday 3-4 with a 4.22 ERA and 4.08 FIP.
Teams are batting .208 against Martinez this season, which would be the best in his career. However, his current 5.06 K/9 would be the lowest his career by more than 2.5 Ks. He ranks in the bottom 3% of the whole league in strikeout rate. Martinez also has much better numbers than his expected stats say he deserves. He has a .279 wOBA but .359 xwOBA, and his BABIP against is at an all-time low — the most obvious sign he’s due to regress at some point.
The Cardinals offense has been fairly average all season, ranking 18th in batting average and 18th in OPS. Tyler O’Neill and Tommy Edman have surprisingly been their best hitters as of late. Over the last two weeks, O’Neill is batting .385 with a 1.346 OPS and Edman is hitting .321 with a .907 OPS.
Los Angeles Dodgers
The Dodgers will send righty Walker Buehler to the mound on Wednesday and Buehler is the only Dodgers pitcher to complete at least six innings in every start this season. Still only 26-years old, Buehler has a 3-0 record with a 2.66 ERA and 3.57 FIP this season.
As good as Buehler has been on the surface, he just hasn’t been as dominant as we have seen in the past. His strikeout rate is way down at 8.67 K/9, down from 10.31 last season. He also has Hard Hit rate of 40.4%, which is the highest mark of his career. Teams are hitting .202 against him but have an expected average of .240 and an xwOBA of .309.
The Dodgers offense has been pretty much as expected, ranking 2nd in the league in runs per game. They rank 8th in batting average, 4th in OPS, 4th in wOBA and 3rd in wRC+. Maybe the only surprising thing is with all the big names on their roster, it is actually Max Muncy doing most of the damage.
Over the last month, Muncy is batting .333 with a 1.167 OPS. He led the team in hits, runs, home runs and RBIs in May.
Both of these pitchers likely have negative regression coming for them at some point based on their expected numbers compared to their actual stats and results. That being said, I still trust Buehler a heck of a lot more than I do Martinez.
In nine starts this season, Martinez has allowed one run or less in three starts. But he has also allowed four runs or more in three starts. It’s hard to know what version you will get of him on any night.
I think the Dodgers lineup will be able to get to him on Wednesday, especially now that they have former MVP Cody Bellinger back.
Pick: Los Angeles Dodgers Team Total over 4.5 (-110). Play to -120