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St. Louis Cardinals vs. Los Angeles Dodgers

The St. Louis Cardinals and the Los Angeles Dodgers face off on Saturday at Busch Stadium for game two of their series.
The St. Louis Cardinals got out to an early lead on Friday and held off the Dodgers to get the win in game one of the series on Friday. Matt Holliday had two hits including a home run and Kolten Wong and Jon Jay had two hits each as the Cardinals scored three runs on eight hits. Starting pitcher Lance Lynn allowed four hits and two runs while striking out nine over 6.0 innings to get the win to go to 11-6 for the season and Trevor Rosenthal earned his 29th save. For Saturday’s game the Cardinals start Joe Kelly who has two no decisions and a loss in his last three starts. For the season Kelly has allowed 22 hits and seven earned runs while striking out 12 over 18.1 innings for a 1-1 record and a 3.44 ERA.
The Los Angeles Dodgers lost to the Cardinals on Friday and fell out of first place in the NL West in the process. Yasiel Puig, Hanley Ramirez, and Adrian Gonzalez each had hits as the Dodgers scored two runs on five hits. Starting pitcher Dan Haren allowed eight hits and three runs while striking out four over 4.2 innings to take the loss and fall to 8-7 for the year. For Saturday’s game the Dodgers start Zack Greinke who is coming off of a loss in his last start. For the season Greinke has allowed 117 hits and 36 earned runs while striking out 127 over 118.2 innings for an 11-5 record and a 2.73 ERA.
St. Louis is 4-1 in game two of a series, 20-8 as a home underdog, and 7-2 in Kelly’s last nine starts as an underdog. Los Angeles is 5-1 as an underdog, 1-4 in game two of a series, and 28-13 in Greinke’s last 41 starts. Los Angeles is 17-39 in St. Louis.
The Dodgers didn’t roll over on Friday and behind Greinke I look for them to get it done on the road here

Pick
Los Angeles Dodgers -120 St. Louis Cardinals

St. Louis Cardinals vs. Los Angeles Dodgers

The Los Angeles Dodgers visit the St Louis Cardinals for a weekend set at Busch Stadium beginning Friday. The Cardinals are -115 favorites over the Dodgers with an over/under of 8.5
Los Angeles might be leading the National League West at the All Star break but in my eyes it’s really a tie with San Francisco right now with things being ultra tight. That’s a good thing however as the Giants roared out to an early lead in the West before the guys in blue played steady baseball over the last several weeks to chip away at the slumping Giants lead and overtake them. The LAD have the ability to win on tound and at the plate and we are all wondering if they are poised to go on another second half run similar to the one we saw in 2013. Dan Haren gets the start Friday at Busch Stadium where he faces the Cardinals for the first time in 2014. Haren has struggled the last two times out with 12 runs plated on 16 hits over 9.1 innings.
I’d say the Cardinals had a very successful first half of 2014 where they trail Milwaukee in the National League Central but for me again I say it’s basically tied up with things so close and so much baseball is left to be played. The Brewers looked like they were going to run away with the division but seemed to slow as the Redbirds picked up steam with the momentum clearly on their side. The Cards have one of the more dangerous lineups in the business so with some consistent scoring and steady pitching the Central will be tough to wrestle away from the defending NL Central champs. Lance Lynn opens the series on the mound versus the Dodgers. Lynn has been a steady member of the rotation with a 10-6 record and 3.14 ERA.
I don’t think their is a world of difference on the mound but Lynn has been very effective. Im taking the Cards at -115

Pick
St. Louis Cardinals -115 Los Angeles Dodgers

Los Angeles Dodgers vs. St. Louis Cardinals

The Los Angeles Dodgers and the St. Louis Cardinals face off on Friday for game two of their MLB series. The Dodgers are -140 favorites over the Cardinals with an over/under run total set at 7.5.
The Los Angeles Dodgers opened their series with the Cardinals with a win on Thursday and at the same time moved within two games of the lead in the NL West. Miguel Rojas had two hits and Dee Gordon, and Juan Uribe had hits as the Cardinals scored one run on five hits. Starting pitcher Josh Beckett allowed four hits and struck out four over 7.0 innings to not factor in the decision as Brian Wilson got the win to go to 1-2 for the season and Keneley Jansen earned his 24th save. For Friday’s game the Dodgers start Hyun-Jin Ryu who has won six of his last seven starts. For the season Ryu has allowed 80 hits and 28 earned runs while striking out 66 over 82.1 innings for a 9-3 record and a 3.06 ERA.
The St. Louis Cardinals didn’t have many chances to score on Thursday and they failed to score at all losing game one of their series to the Dodgers. Matt Carpenter, Matt Holliday, and Allen Craig each had hits as the Cardinals had five hits. Starting pitcher Adam Wainwright allowed five hits and a run while striking out seven over 8.0 innings to take the loss and fall to 0-4 for the season. For Friday’s game the Cardinals start Carlos Martinez who is coming off of a win in his last start. For the season Martinez has allowed 36 hits and 21 earned runs while striking out 36 over 43.2 innings for a 1-3 record and a 4.33 ERA.
Los Angeles is 5-0 in their last five home games, 5-1 in their last six games, and 6-1 in Ryu’s last seven starts. St. Louis is 5-2 against a team with a winning record, 35-16 following a loss, and 5-2 against a left-handed starter.
Both of these teams get it done with pitching and defense and I expect more of it here making the under my pick.

Pick
Under 7.5

Cincinnati Reds vs. Los Angeles Dodgers

The Cincinnati Reds and the Los Angeles Dodgers face off on Wednesday in Cincinnati as they continue their series. The Reds are -120 favorites over the Dodgers.
The Cincinnati Reds can’t seem to get the bats going as they dropped another home game on Tuesday. Billy Hamilton and Devin Mesoraco each had two hits and Joey Votto had a hit as the Reds scored one run on nine hits. Starting pitcher Mike Leake allowed nine hits and five runs while striking out seven over 5.1 innings to take the loss. For Wednesday’s game the Reds start Johnny Cueto who has lost three of his last four starts. For the season Cueto has allowed 54 hits and 21 earned runs while striking out 97 over 96 innings for a 5-5 record and a 1.97 ERA.
The Los Angeles Dodges continue to try and close the gap in NL West and they closed it a little more on Tuesday beating the Reds, Yasiel Puig, Adrian Gonzalez, Andre Ethier, and Justin Turner each had two hits as the Dodgers scored six runs on 12 hits. Starting pitcher Josh Beckett allowed two hits and struck out seven over 6.0 innings to get the win. For Sunday’s gam the Dodgers start Hyun-Jin Ryu who has won his last four starts. For the season Ryu has allowed 67 hits and 22 earned runs while striking out 53 over 64.1 innings for a 7-2 record and a 3.08 ERA.
Cincinnati is 2-8 against a team with a winning record, 1-4 against a left-handed starter, and 2-6 in Cueto’s last eight starts against a team with a winning record. Los Angeles is 5-1 in their last six road games, 5-11 as a road underdog, and 8-1 in Ryu’s last nine starts. Cincinnati is 1-6 in Cueto’s last seven starts against Los Angles.
I look for the Reds to salvage a win here behind Cueto who has good numbers except in his record.

Pick
Cincinnati Reds -120 Los Angeles Dodgers

Colorado Rockies vs. Los Angeles Dodgers

The Colorado Rockies and the Los Angeles Dodgers face off on Saturday at Coors Field for game two of their NL West series. The Dodgers are -130 favorites over the Rockies.
The Colorado Rockies having been slumping badly and now they have been losing at home where they have had a lot of success this season. On Friday Drew Stubbs had two hits including a home run and Troy Tulowitzki and Charlie Culberson each had two hits as the Rockies scored two runs on nine hits. Starting pitcher Eddie Butler allowed 10 hits and six earned runs while striking out two over 5.1 innings to take the loss. For Saturday’s game the Rockies start Jhoulys Chacin who doesn’t have a win this season. For the season Chacin has allowed 33 hits and 20 earned runs while striking out 20 over 32.2 innings for a 0-4 record and a 5.51 ERA.
The Los Angeles Dodgers are looking to gain ground on the Giants in NL West and they at least didn’t lose and ground getting the win in Colorado. Dee Gordon had three hits and Hanley Ramirez and Justin Turner had two hits each as the Dodgers scored seven runs on 12 hits. Starting pitcher Hyun Jin-Ryu allowed eight hits and two earned runs while striking out two over 6.0 innings to get the win and go to 6-2 for the season. For Saturday’s game the Dodgers start Zack Greinke who lost last time out. For the season Greinke has allowed 65 hits and 20 earned runs while striking out 83 over 72 innings for a 8-2 record and a 2.50 ERA.
Colorado is 2-5 I game two of a series, 0-8 in their last eight games, and 1-4 in Chacin’s last five hoe starts. Los Angeles is 3-6 in their last nine games, 2-5 against a team with a losing record, and 25-9 in Greinke’s last 34 starts. LA is 2-4 I their last six games against Colorado.
This one looks like a mismatch as the Dodgers should cruise.

Pick
Los Angeles Dodgers -130 Colorado Rockies

Los Angeles Dodgers vs. Philadelphia Phillies

The Los Angeles Dodgers and the Philadelphia Phillies face off on Monday at Dodger Stadium for game one of their series. The Dodgers are -115 favorites over the Phillies with an over/under run total set at 7.
The Los Angeles Dodgers are stacked this season and they are in first place in the National League West. The Dodgers are6-4 in their last 10 games, 4-4 at home, and they have won their last two games. As a team the Dodgers are hitting .243 with Dee Gordon hitting .367, Juan Uribe hitting .333, and Adrian Gonzalez hitting .301. The Dodgers pitching staff has an ERA of 2.95 with the starters at 2.58 and the bullpen at 3.53. For game one against the Phillies the Dodgers start Paul Maholm who has been pitching both a starter and from the bullpen. For the season Maholm has allowed 14 hits and seven earned runs while striking out four over 12.2 innings for a 0-1 record and a 4.97 ERA.
The Philadelphia Phillies are not at their best right now as they try and at least hang in the NL East race. The Phillies are 4-5 on the road, 5-5 in their last 10 games, and they are coming off of a win in Colorado on Sunday. As a team the Phillies are hitting .247 with Chase Utley hitting .406, Jimmy Rollins hitting .292, and Ryan Howard hitting .262. As a team the Phillies pitching staff has an ERA of 4.63 with the starters at 4.04 and the bullpen at 5.84. For game one at LA the Phillies start Cliff Lee who is coming off of a loss in a game he gave up just one run. For the season Lee has allowed 40 hits and 12 earned runs while striking out 28 over 27 innings for a 2-2 record and a 4.00 ERA.
Los Angeles is 42-17 against a team with a losing record, 54-25 as a favorite, and 0-5 against a left-handed starter. Philadelphia is 3-7 on the road against a left-handed starter, 2-4 in their last six games, and 7-3 in Lee’s last 10 starts as an underdog. Philadelphia is 1-4 in their last five games in Los Angeles.
This would have been Kershaw’s spot and Maholm is no Kershaw but Cliff Lee is very much himself and the play here.

Pick
Philadelphia Phillies +105 Los Angeles Dodgers

Los Angeles Dodgers vs. San Francisco Giants

The San Francisco Giants and the Los Angeles Dodgers face off on Tuesday at AT&T Park as they play game one of their NL West series. The Giants are -110 favorites over the Dodgers with an over/under run total set at 7.5
The San Francisco Giants have gotten off to a solid start to the season as they hope to remain healthy this season. The Giants are 3-3 at home this season, 6-4 in their last 10 games, and they are coming off of a win on Sunday against the Rockies. As a team San Francisco is hitting .248 with Angel Pagan hitting .412, Michael Morse hitting .350, Brandon Crawford hitting .308, and Buster Posey hitting .295. The Giants pitching staff has an ERA of 3.69 with the starters at 4.60 and the bullpen at 1.99. For game one against the Dodgers the Giants start Tim Lincecum who has been roughed up in his two starts this year. For the season Lincecum has allowed 15 hits and 11 runs while striking out 12 over 10.0 innings for a 0-1 record and 9.90 ERA.
The expectations for the Los Angeles Dodgers are sky high this season and thus far they are living up to them. The Dodgers are 7-1 on the road, 7-3 in their last 10 games, and they have won their last three games. As a team the Dodgers are hitting .255 with Dee Gordon hitting .400, Juan Uribe hitting .358, Hanley Ramirez hitting .286, and Adrian Gonzalez hitting .280. The LA pitching staff has an ERA of 3.28 with the starters at 3.21 and the bullpen at 3.38. For game one in San Fran the Dodgers start Josh Beckett who looks like just a shell of his former self. In his first outing of the year Beckett allowed five hits and four runs while striking out five over 4.0 innings getting a no decision.
San Francisco is 5-0 in game one of a series, 8-2 at home against a right-handed starter, and 7-1 in Lincecum’s last eight starts against the NL West. Los Angeles is 4-0 against the NL West, 4-1 following an off day, 42-19 on the road, and 0-4 in Beckett’s last four starts. Los Angeles is 3-7 in their last 10 games in San Francisco.
As rough as Lincecum has looked he seems to still rise to the occasion for the big games and he should do so here as I like the Giants to rough up Beckett.

Pick
San Francisco Giants -110 Los Angeles Dodgers

Arizona Diamondbacks vs. Los Angeles Dodgers

The Arizona Diamondbacks and the Los Angeles Dodgers face off on Saturday Morning in Australia as the 2014 Major League Baseball season gets underway. The Dodgers are -165 favorites over the Diamondbacks with an over/under run total set at 6.5.
The Arizona Diamondbacks finished at .500 last season and they made some roster moves over the off season to try and improve on that mark. Paul Goldschmidt is the centerpiece of the organization and the player they are going to build around and he is coming off of an outstanding year hitting .302 with 36 home runs and 125 RBI’s. Martin Prado moves to third base this season and the Diamondbacks traded for Mark Trumbo who can take the ball deep on any swing but the big issue is he has one of the worst on base percentages. Gerrardo Parra is coming off of a solid year hitting .282 and of course Kirk Gibson is quickly emerging as one of the better managers in the game. Wade Mileyl gets the Opening Day start for Arizona as the pitching staff is already seeing it’s share of struggles to stay healthy. Addison Reed was acquired from the White Sox in the off season and will be called upon if the D-Backs are in a situation to use him.
The Los Angeles Dodgers spent money last season and continued to try and spend in the offseason to try and build a team that can compete for a World Series championship. The Dodgers took an early exit from the post season last year after winning the NL West. Yasiel Puig retuns for his second season in the majors and will try to avoid the sophomore jinx while Hanley Ramirez will just try and stay healthy for the season. Adrian Gonzalez bats cleanup while Andre Ethier may be the best number seven hitter in all of baseball. For the opener it is no surprise the Dodgers send Clayton Kershaw to the mound. Kershaw has emerged as the best pitcher in baseball coming off of another Cy Young Award winning season and the Dodgers bullpen is absolutely stacked as well.
Arizona is 11-3 in their last 14 games with the total set at 6.5 or lower, 1-4 in their last five games, 1-5 in game one of a series, and 5-2 in Miley’s last seven starts in game one of a series. Los Angeles is 2-5 against a left handed starter, 23-5 in game one of a series, 1-4 in their last five games as a favorite, and 6-2 in Kershaw’s last eight starts against the NL West. LA has won seven of the last 10 meetings of these two.
I can’t go against the Dodgers and Kershaw here though I don’t see the win coming easy.

Pick
Los Angeles Dodgers -165 Arizona Diamondbacks

St. Louis Cardinals vs. Los Angeles Dodgers

The St. Louis Cardinals and the Los Angeles Dodgers face off on Wednesday at Dodger Stadium for game five of their NLCS series with the Cardinals hold a 3-1 lead in the series. The Dodgers are -170 favorites over the Cardinals with an over/under run total set at 7.
The St. Louis Cardinals battled for a full nine innings on Tuesday ad in the end they earned the win putting them a win away from the World Series. Matt Holliday and Shane Robinson hit home runs and Matt Carpenter had a hit and drove in a run as the Cardinals scored four runs on six hits. Starting pitcher Lance Lynn allowed six hits and two runs while striking out five over 5.1 innings to earn his second win of the post season and Trevor Rosenthal earned is second save of the post season. For Wednesday’s game the Cardinals look to close it out with Joe Kelly who is 10-5 with a 2.73 ERA for the season and he is 0-1 with a 3.44 ERA in his last three starts but he was the starter in game one of the NLCS, a game won by the Cardinals 3-2.
The Los Angeles Dodgers had plenty of chances on Tuesday but they were unable to take advantage of them as they fell to the Cardinals and are now on the brink of elimination. Yasiel Puig and Andre Ethier each had two hits and Carl Crawford and Adrian Gonzalez had hits but the Dodgers scored just two runs on eight hits and that wasn’t enough to get a win. Starting pitcher Ricky Nolasco allowed three hits and three runs while striking out four over four innings to take the loss and the Dodgers bullpen allowed just three hits and a run the rest of the way as L.A. used four different pitchers over the final five innings. For Wednesday’s game the Dodgers start Zack Greinke who faced Kelly in game one of the series and who is 15-5 with a 2.63 ERA for the season and 0-2 with a 2.25 ERA in his last three starts.
St. Louis is 5-1 in their last six playoff games, 4-1 in their last five road games against a right handed starter, 2-5 in their last seven playoff road games, and 10-3 in Kelly’s last 13 starts. Los Angeles is 4-1 in their last five playoff home games, 23-11 in their last 34 home games, 1-6 in their last seven NLCS games, and 12-2 in Greinke’s last 14 home starts.
I see runs being tough to come by in this one and I am going to go with the under.

Pick
Under 7

St. Louis Cardinals vs. Los Angeles Dodgers

The St. Louis Cardinals and the Los Angles Dodgers face off on Tuesday in LA for game 4 of the NLCS with the Cardinals leading the series 2 to 1. The Dodgers are -120 favorites over the Cardinals.
The St. Louis Cardinals were hoping to send the Dodgers to the brink of elimination on Monday but they were unable to get it done and are now just a loss away from the series being tied up. Yadier Molina, David Freese, matt Adams, and Jon Jay all had hits but the Cardinals failed to score a run netting just the four hits. Starting pitcher Adam Wainwright allowed six hits and two runs while striking out five over 7.0 innings to take the loss in a game where he pitched well, just not well enough. For Tuesday’s game the Cardinals start Lance Lynn who is 16-11with a 4.07 ERA for the season and 2-1 with a 3.24 ERA in his last three starts.
The Los Angeles Dodgers had their back to the wall on Monday but even with the win it doesn’t lessen the importance of this game for them. Yasiel Puig, Hanley Ramirez, and Mark Ellis each had two hits as the Dodgers scored three times on nine hits. Pitcher Hyun-Jin Ryu was outstanding allowing three hits and striking out four over 7.0 scoreless innings to get the win and Kenley Jansen earned the save. For game 4 of the NLCS the Dodgers start Ricky Nolasco who is 13-11 with a 3.70 ERA for the season and 0-2 with a 12.75 ERA in his last three starts.
St. Louis is 4-1 in their last five playoff games, 22-8 in their last 30 games, 8-18 in their last 26 road games against a team with a winning record, and 2-8 in Lynn’s last 10 road starts. Los Angeles is 4-0 in their last four home playoff games, 13-3 in their last 16 home games against a team with a winning record, 1-5 in their last six games against the NL Central, and 10-3 in Nolasco’s last 13 starts.
I like the Dodgers to win this game at home and even the series at two.

Pick
Los Angeles Dodgers -120 St. Louis Cardinals

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Bobby C Sports Columnist