National League Postseason Preview: L.A. Dodgers at Saint Louis Cardinals

Matt Kemp is one of two Dodgers having a superb postseason.
Matt Kemp is one of two Dodgers having a superb postseason.

L.A. Dodgers vs. Saint Louis Cardinals
Time: 9:05 PM ET (Oct 6, 2014)
Spread: -LA -1.5
M/L: LAD -112; STL +102
Total: 7.5

Betting odds courtesy of Bovada

It’s hard to argue against the dominance the L.A. Dodgers have shown this year. The team ranked near the top of all offensive statistical categories, 6th in runs; 3rd in batting average, 1st in on base percentage, and 6th in slugging percentage.

John Lackey will look to slow that dominance in a crucial swing-game in this 1-1 series. The Dodgers are 1.5 run favorites in MLB odds, while the total is set high at 7.5 to reflect the potentiality of the Dodgers really getting cooking in this.

The 11th year veteran Lackey may not have the dominance to put the clamps on the Dodgers. While his 3.82 ERA in the regular season was good, it was not overly dominant. His WHIP of 1.28 is borderline comparative to the top starters in the series.

Lackey only threw one complete game in 31 appearances, too, while pitching under 200 innings on the season. He’s the Cards’ third starter in the rotation, though he only pitched 10 starts in the season. In fantasy baseball, he ranked 61st among MLB pitchers, which speaks to his relative mediocrity.

Offensively for L.A., Matt Kemp and A.J. Ellis have been on fire. Both have five hits in the series first two games and both have homered already. Ellis has a double to go with it, and both have tallied two RBIs thus far. The Dodgers are capable of generating mass runs, and have four batters with OPS higher than 1.3 in this series. As baseball odds predict, this should swing in LA’s favor tonight.

The Cards are simply not the offensive threat LA is. Saint Louis ranked 23rd in the MLB in runs, while also ranking 23rd in slugging percentage. Outside of third baseman Matt Carpenter, no Card is having a particularly great series through the first two games.

Carpenter is batting .500 (4 of 8) and has doubled twice already, homered twice, and managed six RBIs despite the lack of production from his teammates. In the regular season, he batted .272 with only eight homers all season. It indicates that Carpenter is due to fall off this postseason, but he may just be amping up for another strong performance. Either way, Saint Louis has its work cut out for itself this series, and it’s going to take a lot of unprecedented offense to give LA an “L” tonight.

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