Los Angeles Dodgers at St. Louis Cardinals
Clayton Kershaw looks to keep alive an outstanding personal run
when he leads the Los Angeles Dodgers into the finale of a
three-game series at St. Louis on Sunday night. Before throwing
one perfect inning in the All-Star Game in Minneapolis, Kershaw
posted his second complete game of the year with an
11-strikeout effort against San Diego on July 10. His scoreless
streak was halted at 41 innings in the process but he still won
his eighth straight start, all in dominant fashion.
Kershaw may not need it, but he would likely appreciate more
run support than his teammates have provided of late. The
Dodgers have scored 12 runs in a 3-4 stretch, including four in
dropping the first two games of the series. Los Angeles was
routed 9-0 in St. Louis to end last year’s National League
Championship Series and is 10-21 all-time in the regular season
at the new Busch Stadium.
TV: 8:05 p.m. ET, ESPN
LINE HISTORY: Books opened the Cards as +156
home dogs. The total has held at 6.5.
INJURY REPORT: Dodgers – 3B Chone Figgins
(Out/Hip), SS Erisbel Arruebarrena (Out/Hip) Cardinals –
C Yadier Molina (Out/Thumb)
WHAT THE SHARPS SAY: “Clayton Kershaw has been
fantastic this season (1.78 ERA and 0.83 WHIP) with some of the
most dominant numbers in recent history. However, he will
have to pitch well as the Dodgers’ offense is ice cold right
now, scoring 2 runs or less in six of their past seven games,
averaging just 1.7 runs per game during that span.
Meanwhile, the Cardinals are in much better offensive
form, scoring at least 4+ runs in five of their past eight
games, averaging 4.6 runs per game during that span.” Covers
Experts Steve Merril
WHAT THE BOOKS SAY: “The series wraps up
tonight as the Dodgers send ace Clayton Kershaw to the mound to
try and salvage one win in this series. The
Cardinals send Carlos Martinez to the mound looking to sweep
the Dodgers and take a one-game lead over the Dodgers in the
Wild Card standings. With Kershaw on the mound for the
Dodgers they are seeing the bulk of the action with 92 percent
of the action on the money line, 69 percent of the action on
the 1.5 run line and the under 6.5 run total is getting 96
percent of the action as of this morning.” Michael Stewart,
WAG WAR: Clayton Kershaw’s wife Ellen and Matt
Carpenter’s wife Mackenzie.
PITCHING MATCHUP: Dodgers LH Clayton Kershaw (11-2,
1.78 ERA) vs. Cardinals RH Carlos Martinez (2-4, 4.43)
Kershaw has 80 strikeouts in 61 innings while walking just six
batters during his eight-game winning streak. He is 6-1 with a
1.91 ERA in seven road starts and has 16 scoreless frames over
his last two outings away from home. The 26-year-old fanned 13
in seven scoreless frames versus St. Louis at home on June 29,
improving to 5-5 with a 3.43 ERA in 13 career starts against
Martinez limped into the break allowing four runs in four rocky
innings at Milwaukee on July 13. It was the fifth time in his
six starts this season in which he has failed to last beyond
five innings. The Dominican, who has 29 strikeouts in 28 1/3
innings as a starter, allowed a run and six hits in 4 1/3
innings at Los Angeles on June 27.
*Dodgers are 8-0 in Kershaws last 8 starts.
*Cardinals are 8-2 in their last 10 vs. a team with a winning
*Under is 12-4-2 in Cardinals last 18 home games.
*Dodgers are 1-5 in Kershaws last 6 starts vs. Cardinals.
COVERS CONSENSUS: 64.46 percent of wagers on
Covers Consensus are backing the Dodgers.