L.A. Dodgers vs. St. Louis Cardinals
Time: 5:05 ET (Oct 7, 2014)
Spread: LAD -1.5
M/L: LAD -164; STL +149
Betting odds courtesy of Bovada
L.A. Dodgers ace pitcher Clayton Kershaw had a rough outing his last time on the mound, something that occurs close to never. After building a five-run lead with Kershaw on the mound in the NL Division series opener, it seemed to be a foregone conclusion the game would go to the Dodgers. MLB oddsmakers don’t expect this to happen again, setting the line 1.5-points in favor of the visiting Dodgers.
Despite posting a 10.80 ERA in his first start this postseason, he is still 2-0 with a 0.47 ERA in the postseason, when given three days rest. Mattingly said of Kershaw, “You don’t win four ERA titles and end up (going to) win three of the last four Cy Youngs…anything goes bad, you just curl up and go away…they keep working and they keep going.”
Kershaw allowed the Cards to score eight runs in the 7th inning, and won the game 10-9 in the ace’s last start. Kershaw by no means takes his success for granted. “I try not to look at all the numbers and stats…just try to go out and win a game for us (today)…stay on even keel as you possibly can…”
Game 3 saw the Cards win again after Kolten Wong banged a two-run home in the 7th inning to put the Cards ahead. A win today would propel Saint Louis to a fourth straight NLCS.
Despite finishing last place in the NL during the regular season in home runs, the Cards already have six this postseason. Matt Carpenter had a homer and a double in three straight games. All of his homers came from left handed pitchers, which works against the Dodgers since Kershaw is the reincarnation of famous southpaw Sandy Koufax.
Shelby Miller will get the start for the Cardinals, and he’s making his first postseason appearance after going 10-9 in the regular season with a 3.74 ERA in 31 starts. He last pitched Sept. 23 and gave up three runs in 1/3rd innings of a 4-3 Cardinals victory over the Cubs. He fared poorly against the Dodgers this season, allowing six runs in five innings as Saint Louis lost 6-0.
Adria Gonzalez has been particularly good against Miller, having gone 4-of-7 with a homer. Yasiel Puig has a double in his two at-bats. He’s struggled some in this series with seven straight strikeouts before hitting a triple in the sixth inning of yesterday’s contest.