Saturday MLB on FOX Preview – Dodgers at Cardinals

The Cardinals have dominated visiting foes at Busch Stadium in series immediately following the All-Star break.

Los Angeles Dodgers at St. Louis Cardinals

Los Angeles received disappointing back-to-back efforts by its top two pitchers in dropping the first two games of this four-game set in St. Louis.  Thursday starting pitcher Clayton Kershaw managed to go just 4.1 innings and right-hander Chad Billingsley followed with just four innings.  “Billingsley just had a bad game,” manager Joe Torre said.  “He had no explanation and Kershaw didn’t either.”  The offense produced 13 hits in the 8-4 losing effort last night, but stranded 12 runners.  The Dodgers have still won six of their last eight games against the Cardinals, including a three-game sweep in Los Angeles on June 7-9.  The club won its only game of the year as a road underdog of +150 to +175 and stands at 7-5 in this spot the last three years (+610).

Dodgers starting pitcher Hiroki Kuroda is 7-7 with a 3.87 ERA in 17 starts this season (+200), but has produced a fantastic strikeout-to-walk ratio.  In 102.1 innings this year, he has fanned 82 batters and walked just 29.  He has picked up the loss in his last two outings, allowing 10 runs and 14 hits in 8.2 innings of work.  Kuroda stands at an even 4-4 with a 4.03 ERA in eight road starts.  He is searching for his first career victory over the Cardinals, allowing just two earned runs and eight hits in 13 innings, including seven shutout frames against them at Dodger Stadium on June 8.

St. Louis has outscored Los Angeles 15-5 in the first two games following the All-Star break, which has been a consistent theme at Busch Stadium.  Since the stadium opened, the Cardinals have gone 12-1 in home games in the series following the All-Star break.  The club has a great shot of picking up a victory with today’s starter on the mound, as the team is 35-21 in games started by Adam Wainwright, Chris Carpenter and Jamie Garcia.  The Cardinals often find it difficult to put together a larger win streak, going 2-3 after three or more consecutive wins this season (-290) and 23-27 over the last three years (-1,080).

Cardinals starting pitcher Adam Wainwright is 13-5 with a 2.11 ERA in 19 starts this season (+520), allowing just 102 hits in 136.1 innings.  The right-hander has won three straight games and five of his last six.  In that span, he has allowed eight earned runs and 33 hits over 42.1 frames.  Wainwright looks to remain perfect at Busch Stadium, posting a 9-0 record and 1.43 ERA in nine home starts this season.  Opponents have managed to hit just two home runs against him at home and have a combined average of .189.  He suffered a 4-3 loss in his one start against the Dodgers earlier this season at Dodger Stadium, allowing four runs and eight hits over six innings.

Bettors may find the home team a slam dunk in this situation with Wainwright’s perfect mark and the club’s 10-2 record as a home favorite of -150 to -175 (+690).  It’s important to note that the Cardinals are 2-11 O/U in Saturday games this season.  Don’t get too carried away in laying the juice, as the Dodgers are 14-2 in Kuroda’s last 16 starts versus the NL Central.

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