The Los Angeles Dodgers look to conclude their road trip with a winning record when they visit the St. Louis Cardinals on Sunday night for the rubber match of their three-game set. Los Angeles dropped the series opener in 16 innings before rallying for four runs in the third inning and three in the sixth en route to a 7-2 triumph on Saturday that evened its record on the trek at 4-4.
Corey Seager is riding a seven-game hitting streak during which he is 14-for-35 while Justin Turner is 14-for-37 with five home runs and 14 RBIs over the first eight games of the Dodgers’ trip. St. Louis managed only six hits as its winning streak ended at five games. Aledmys Diaz had his string of four straight two-hit performances come to a halt, but the 25-year-old Cuban did record a single Saturday to run his hitting streak to five contests. The Cardinals are 6-3 on their 10-game homestand and trail Miami by one game and Los Angeles by two for wild-card spots in the National League.
TV: 8:08 p.m. ET, ESPN
LINE HISTORY: The Dodgers opened as -140 favorites and, at the time of publication of this preview, the moneyline has yet to shift very far in either direction. The total opened at 9.0 and has also been stable in early wagering. Check out the complete line history here.
WEATHER REPORT: The oppressive national heat wave will continue Sunday and the air temperature for the opening inning in St. Louis will be at around 105 degrees. Things will get slightly more comfortable as the game moves into the evening with temps falling into the low 90’s. There is a chance of thunderstorms developing all across the mid-west, and St. Louis is no exception. Humidity values will increase as the evening progresses and the chance of rain and electrical storms will increase along with it.
WHAT SHARPS SAY: “The Cardinals will finish this extended home stand with their 10th straight home game since the All-Star Break. St. Louis had their 5-game home win streak snapped last night in a 7-2 loss versus the Dodgers. St. Louis remains just one of two teams in the entire league that has a losing record at home and a winning record on the road. The Cardinals are just 25-29 at home this season, while going 27-16 on the road. The other team pulling this rare feat is the Arizona Diamondbacks (17-35 home / 23-22 road).” – Covers Expert Steve Merril.
WHAT BOOKS SAY: “The Dodgers and Cardinals split the first two games of this series with the rubber match going tonight. The Dodgers send Scott Kazmir to the mound to face the Cardinals Mike Mayers. We opened the Dodgers as -130 favs but have since moved to -140 as 90% of the early action has come in on the Dodgers, with the Cardinals moving from +110 to +130 on the moneyline. We have set the total for this game at 9 runs and are seeing a 50/50 split on the O/U action.” – Michael Stewart of CarbonGaming.ag
PITCHING MATCHUP: Dodgers LH Scott Kazmir (8-3, 4.30 ERA) vs. Cardinals RH Mike Mayers (NR)
Kazmir won his sixth consecutive decision on Tuesday as he allowed one run and four hits while registering eight strikeouts in seven innings at Washington. The 32-year-old native of Houston is unbeaten in his last 12 starts, last losing on May 9 to the New York Mets. Kazmir produced his longest outing of the season five days later against St. Louis, giving up three runs – two earned – and five hits over 8 2/3 frames to improve to 2-0 with a 3.20 ERA in three career starts versus the Cardinals.
Mayers was scheduled to start for Triple-A Memphis on Saturday but instead was brought up to make his major-league debut. “I’m looking to pitch well, and whatever happens after that is out of my control,” the 24-year-old from Ohio told the Cardinals’ website. “But hopefully I can make a good impression that will stick in their head a little bit.” Mayers has split this season between Memphis and Double-A Springfield, going a combined 8-5 with a 2.62 ERA in 18 starts.
* Dodgers are 5-0 in Kazmir’s last five starts.
* Cardinals are 7-0 in their last seven versus National League West opponents.
* Over is 7-1 in Kazmirs last eight road starts.
* Over is 4-0 in Cardinals last 4 games versus a left-handed starter.
* Under is 13-3 in the last 16 meetings in St. Louis.
COVERS CONSENSUS: The early consensus data for this matchup is showing the public favoring the road team at a rate of 65 percent. The total is set at 9.0 and most of the users picking this game on Covers are siding with the Under (78 percent). Check out the up-to-date consensus data here.
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