Submitted by Jim Hurley on Thursday, June 4, 2015 at 7:00 AM
Last weekend, the St. Louis Cardinals beat the Los Angeles Dodgers 7-6. Not in one game. That was the total scoring in the whole three-game series! The Cards won twice, by scores of 3-0 and 3-1. The Dodgers won the middle meeting 5-1. That’s three Unders even though ace pitchers Clayton Kershaw and Zack Greinke missed out on the fun!
Clearly the Dodgers will be looking for revenge this weekend, particularly with those two guys anchoring the closing matchups. And, it looks like ALL HITTERS will be seeking revenge after being so dormant the first time around.
Before looking at the offensive stats and the probable pitchers, here’s a quick reminder of why this series is so important…
Offshore Odds to Win National League
LA Dodgers +280
St. Louis +365
NY Mets +650
San Francisco +745
Chicago Cubs +1000
The Cards and Dodgers are two of the three teams most likely to play for (and win) the NLCS in October. It’s basically a three-way dead heat right now in the markets between those two and Washington. Only a handful of series the rest of the season will foreshadow the championship chase more than this weekend’s four-game set at Chavez Ravine.
Odds to win the World Series
LA Dodgers +560
St. Louis +725
Kansas City +950
Same story in terms of going the distance. These three are all ahead of the American League in terms of how the market sees cork-popping champagne celebrations. This is BIG! The Dodgers largely get the overall nod because they have both Clayton Kershaw and Zach Greinke in their rotation. Good test for them this weekend in what will simulate a playoff environment.
Now, onto JIM HURLEY’S key indicator stats…
St. Louis: 4.04 runs per game, .331 on-base, .398 slugging
LA Dodgers: 4.57 runs per game, .339 on-base, .452 slugging
We looked at these categories last Saturday. Since then, the Cards have fizzled compared to their early production. Remember that the Dodgers play their home games in the tougher hitter’s park. So…that’s actually a BIG edge on offense to the Dodger Blue. The Cardinals will have trouble winning in October with such a low slugging percentage. Clear edge here to revenge-minded Los Angeles.
Michael Wacha: 2.27 ERA, 1.04 WHIP, 6.0 K-Rate 6.3 IP-per-Start
Carlos Frias: 4.29 ERA, 1.46 WHIP, 5.6 K-Rate 5.6 IP-per-Start
Wacha struggled vs. Dodgers last week, allowing 4 runs in 5.2 innings. Basically, he was the only relevant pitcher who struggled in that whole series! That’s amazing because he had the best stats heading in. Frias pitched in that same game and won 5-1. He didn’t allow a single earned run in seven innings. But, here the Cards get a second look at the inexperienced pitcher…which is often a trigger for a big result. Good spot for the Cards to get an early foothold based on those numbers. If they struggle vs. Frias, it could be a dark weekend for the Redbirds.
Carlos Martinez: 3.13 ERA, 1.28 WHIP, 9.5 K-Rate, 5.9 IP-per-Start
Brett Anderson: 3.42 ERA, 1.36 WHIP, 6.3 K-Rate 5.5 IP-per-Start
Martinez is on fire, throwing 20.1 scoreless innings in his last three starts. But, this is a second look for the Dodgers in a quick turnaround, which should give them a shot to make adjustments? Also a second look for Anderson, who hasn’t exactly sparkled in second-look spots this season. Definitely some Over potential here…though those can be dicier in this ballpark.
Jaime Garcia: 2.70 ERA, 1.05 WHIP, 5.4 K-Rate 6.7 IP-per-Start
Clayton Kershaw: 3.73 ERA, 1.13 WHIP, 11.2 K-Rate 6.6 IP-per-Start
Garcia’s only made three starts this season. Those are strong numbers, but the Cards are 1-2 in his starts because they got shutout twice. And, now he runs into Clayton Kershaw! Classic pitcher’s duel that may resemble what happened last weekend. Very odd that Kershaw has continued to pitch below par by his standards. Those are still obviously very solid numbers…but they’re not KERSHAW numbers.
Lance Lynn: 3.03 ERA, 1.29 WHIP, 9.5 K-Rate 6.2 IP-per-Start
Zack Greinke: 1.97 ERA, 0.95 WHIP, 7.4 K-Rate 6.6 IP-per-Start
Note that this is the Sunday Night TV game on ESPN. Greinke has been a quality start machine outside of his last start in Colorado. And, it’s very hard to get results at altitude anyway. See, in ERA and WHIP, it’s Greinke that has KERSHAW numbers! Two excellent starters, but the stat edge goes to Greinke even before you get to home field advantage and getaway day potential against the visitor (St. Louis catches a plane afterward for a Monday Nighter in Colorado, while LAD stays home to face Arizona). A potential squash match for the hosts.
JIM HURLEY is likely to have at least one big play in this marquee matchup this weekend. You can purchase the final word for all daily baseball right here at the website with your credit card. If you have any questions about extended service, call us in the office at 1-888-777-4155 during normal business hours.
Another big baseball preview tomorrow involving a Los Angeles team here in the NOTEBOOK. Here’s what’s ahead the next several days…
Friday: MLB Series Preview: Los Angeles Angels at New York Yankees
Saturday: NBA Early Look for Sunday’s Game Two of Cavaliers/Warriors
Monday: MLB Series Preview: Kansas City Royals at Minnesota Twins
Tuesday: NBA Game Three Championship Preview
Wednesday: MLB Big Game Preview…Chicago Cubs at Detroit Tigers
Thursday: NBA Game Four Championship Preview
Also…don’t forget about Saturday’s BELMONT STAKES! A huge sports weekend is going to get even better if you’re enjoying BIG, JUICY WINNERS from JIM HURLEY’S NETWORK!
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