MLB Odds, Preview, Prediction: Dodgers vs. Cardinals Betting Guide (Thursday, September 9)
Jim McIsaac/Getty Images. Pictured: Max Muncy.
- The Dodgers and Cardinals close out their four-game series Thursday at Busch Stadium.
- Los Angeles is starting Tony Gonsolin, a player who has only pitched in 10 games this season and is fresh off the injured list.
- Mike Ianniello explains below why he's still finding a way to bet the heavily favored Dodgers.
Dodgers vs. Cardinals Odds
|Time||1:15 p.m. ET|
The Dodgers and Giants are the two best teams in the league and are neck-and-neck in the NL West standings. One of these teams will have to play a one-game, do-or-die Wild Card Game where anything can happen. This division race will be must-watch down the final stretch of the season.
The Cardinals hope that game will be against them, as despite a disappointing season, they still remain within striking distance of the final wild card spot.
Los Angeles was able to take the first two games of this series, outscoring St. Louis 12-3, but the Cardinals managed to get the win on Wednesday behind another dominant performance from Adam Wainwright.
Dodgers Turn to Activated Gonsolin on Mound
The Dodgers will activate Tony Gonsolin (RHP) from the injured list on Thursday, and Dave Roberts said he will pitch the bulk of the game. Gonsolin has been placed on the injured list on two separate occasions this season with shoulder inflammation.
The injuries have limited Gonsolin to just 10 games this year, but he has been effective in those starts, going 2-1 with a 2.78 ERA. Teams are batting just .197 against him. Roberts has been limiting his innings this year though, and he is averaging just over 3.5 innings per outing.
It has been kind of a weird year for the Dodgers offense. Obviously they are very good, ranking eighth in the league in wOBA and seventh in wRC+ this season. But it is crazy to say that most people probably expected this top-10 offense to be even better?
Both have battled injuries all year, but Cody Bellinger and Mookie Betts are both having disappointing seasons. Bellinger, especially, has been horrible at the plate this year.
Instead it has been Max Muncy leading the way for Los Angeles and sitting firmly in the NL MVP discussion. Justin Turner and Will Smith are also having great seasons at the plate for the Dodgers.
Cardinals Close to Overcoming Slow Start
The Cardinals are expected to give 24-year-old Jake Woodford (RHP) the start on Thursday afternoon. It will be just the fifth start of his career and fourth start of the season. He has made 18 appearances out of the bullpen this season as well.
Woodford started three games in July and pitched okay in the first two before blowing up in the third start, allowing five earned runs in just three innings. Overall he has pitched to a 5.93 ERA and allowed a .339 batting average against when getting the ball first.
St. Louis got off to a really slow start offensively, and put the Cardinals in an uphill climb for the playoffs. On the season they rank just 23rd in wOBA and 20th in wRC+. Over the last month they have really picked it up though, ranking ninth in wOBA and eighth in wRC+.
Paul Goldschmidt has been red hot over the second half of the season and is batting over .350 with an OPS over 1.000 over the last month. Goldschmidt and Tommy Edman have been carrying this offense for stretches.
The Cardinals were able to shut down the Dodgers offense last night behind another terrific performance from Wainwright. Unfortunately Uncle Charlie isn’t pitching Thursday, and the Los Angeles offense should bounce back.
The Dodgers are big favorites on Thursday, and while I like them to get the win, I am a little uneasy laying that big of a price when we don’t know what to expect out of Gonsolin.
Instead I will just back this Los Angeles lineup against the inexperienced Woodford and a Cardinals bullpen that ranks 21st in the league over the last month.
Play the Los Angeles team total over 4.5 at -115 or better. Or over 5.5 at +105.
Pick: Los Angeles Dodgers TT over 4.5 (-115 or better)