Dodgers Look To Get In The Win Column Against The Cardinals

The St. Louis Cardinals (58-52) enter town to take on the Dodgers (74-40) for a 3-game series. The Cardinals are currently 1.5 games behind the Cubs for the NL Central lead and are entering tonight with a 2-game losing streak, while the Dodgers are coming off an exciting 11-10 walk-off victory and 2-game winning streak. These two teams played each other back in April at Busch Stadium where the Cardinals swept the Dodgers by winning all 4 games of the series.

The Cardinals are currently 27-29 on the road, while the Dodgers are 43-15 at home. The Cardinals are 22nd in runs scored (496), 24th in team batting avg. (.244), and 23rd in home runs (140). In the offseason, they traded for Paul Goldschmidt, who has torched the Dodgers for many years. In his career against the Dodgers, he’s hit 32 home runs, which is the most by any active player, while batting .297 and driving in 99 runs. In 2019, he’s currently hitting .260 with 25 HRs, with 9 of those HRs coming in the 2nd half, and 58 RBIs. Matt Carpenter and Marcell Ozuna are fresh off the IL, and Yadier Molina is currently rehabbing and could be back any day.

The Cardinals are 9th in MLB in team ERA at 4.08, and have the 6th best bullpen ERA at 3.83 with Andrew Miller, Carlos Martinez, and John Gant being some of the stand-outs. Pitching on the road has been an issue for the Cardinals, which has been one of their downfalls. They rank 21st in baseball with a team ERA of 4.84.

The pitching probable matchups are set to be:

Monday Aug. 5 @ 7:10 P.M.

Michael Wccha (6-4) 5.15 ERA, 1.61 WHIP, 14 starts/19 games, 69 K’s            vs

Tony Gonsolin (0-1) 5.63 ERA, 1.13 WHIP, 1 start/2 games 6 K’s

Summary: This will be Gonsolin’s 2nd career start and first appearance at Dodger Stadium. So far, we have seen 4 different pitches from Gonsolin, including a splitter that’s been getting hit hard and a 94-95 MPH fastball. This is a good matchup for Carpenter, Ozuna, Martinez, and Goldschmidt, so we will see how the rookie holds up. Wacha hasn’t been the same guy since the 2013 NLCS. He really struggles with control and had a bullpen demotion this season. Turner, Seager, Bellinger, and Pollock have had success off him in the past.

Tuesday Aug. 6 @ 7:10 P.M.

Miles Mikolas (7-11) 4.00 ERA, 1.22 WHIP, 22 starts, 90 K’s                               vs

Clayton Kershaw (10-2) 2.85 ERA, 1.06 WHIP, 19 starts, 122 K’s

Summary: Kershaw is 7-0 at Dodger Stadium. He has been consistent all season long, including a 2.86 ERA in his last 7 starts. Lifetime against STL, he is (7-5) with a 3.07 ERA over 17 starts. Dexter Fowler is 18-48 (.375) and Paul Goldschmidt is 12-54 (.222) with 3 HRs. Mikolas faced the Dodgers back on April 8, and went 6 innings allowing 3 runs to pick up his first win of the season.

Wednesday Aug. 7 12:10 P.M. on Youtube

Jack Flaherty (5-6) 3.93 ERA, 1.15 WHIP, 22 starts, 140 K’s                                vs

Dustin May (0-1) 4.76 ERA, 1.59 WHIP, 1 start, 3 K’s

Summary: Flaherty is coming off a fantastic game where he went 7 scoreless innings against the Cubs and only allowing 1 hit. He has made 3 starts against the Dodgers posting a 1-1 record and establishing a 1.50 ERA over 18 innings with 26 K’s. Joc Pederson is the one Dodger who has hit him well by going 3-9 with 2 HRs. This will be Dustin May’s 2nd career start, and the key for him will be to gain better control of his offspeed stuff to gain higher leverage on his hard 96+ MPH fastball.

Final thoughts and prediction:

The Cardinals are trying to win every game possible due to being in a tight divisional race and only having a 0.5 lead for a wild card spot. This is an early test for 2 Dodger rookie starters who are looking to have an immediate impact in 2019. Goldschmidt will hit at least one homerun in this series, but the Dodgers offense will knock Wacha out before the 5th inning ends, and Justin Turner will be the impact bat in this series. Turner will have a 3-hit game, driving in multiple runs. Joc Pederson will homer, and the Dodgers will get to one of these Cardinals relievers, which ultimately results in the Dodgers taking 2 of 3 against the Cardinals.

photo credit: dodgerblue.com