Monday night baseball and we will see the Los Angeles Dodgers travel to the midwest to take on the St Louis Cardinals in game 1 of their 4 game series. The game is scheduled for a 8:15 (ET) pm start time and it will be televised live locally. Currently the odds have St Louis favored at -135, while Los Angeles is dogs of -121. The total for the game sits at 9 runs.
Free Analysis: The Los Angeles Dodgers and St. Louis Cardinals both struggled coming out of the All-Star break, but a pair of sweeps over the weekend have each feeling optimistic. The Dodgers, who have won seven straight over the defending World Series champions, will try to extend that run tonight when they open a four-game series in St. Louis. Los Angeles lost two of three to both San Diego and Philadelphia to start the second half of the season, but regrouped with a three-game sweep of the New York Mets at Citi Field over the weekend. The Dodgers (52-44) won 8-3 in 12 innings Sunday for their fourth straight win. After blowing a 3-1 lead in the sixth, Matt Treanor's two-run single triggered a five-run 12th. Los Angeles, which dropped 19 of 25 before its current winning streak, has totaled 28 runs in the four wins after scoring 19 the previous six. Matt Kemp's return has helped. He had two hits and scored twice Sunday, and is hitting .378 with two homers, six RBIs and six runs scored in eight games since missing six weeks with a strained Chad Billingsley (4-9, 4.30 ERA), who is scheduled to come off the disabled list, get the ball for LA tonight and he will be tyring to avoid losing a career-worst sixth consecutive start. Chad has a 6.21 ERA while opponents are hitting .345 off him during his skid. He is 1-3 with a 4.63 ERA in his career versus the Cardinals, including 0-2 with a 6.41 ERA in four starts in St. Louis. Billingsley has allowed 13 runs over 9 2-3 innings in his last two starts there. Matt Holliday is 8 for 25 with three homers against Billingsley, who gave up five runs in six innings of a 6-5 win over St. Louis on May 20. He didn't factor in the decision. While Los Angeles is 1 1/2 games behind San Francisco in the NL West and one-half game out of the two wild-card spots, St. Louis (50-45) is chasing Cincinnati and Pittsburgh in the Central. The Cardinals are five games back of the Reds and two behind the wild-card leaders. St. Louis lost five of six coming out of the All-Star break but swept Chicago at home over the weekend, winning the final two 12-0 and 7-0. After back-to-back shutouts of the Cubs, rookie Joe Kelly (1-2, 2.75) will try to extend St. Louis' 25-inning shutout streak. Kelly has been solid in his seven starts, never allowing more than three runs and going six innings in each of his last five outings, but the Cardinals haven’t given him much help — the rookie is 0-2 in his last four starts despite permitting just nine runs (six earned) in 24 innings. Kelly is 0-1 in four home starts, but he has an impressive 2.11 ERA at Busch Stadium. The Cardinals have struggled against quality competition, dropping 20 of their last 27 games against teams with winning records.
Free Pick: I like the Home team in this one. The Dodgers are coming are coming off a sweep of the Mets, but they really had to work for those wins as each game was tight, plus the Mets are really in free fall right now. The Dodgers put up 23 runs vs some very weak Mets pitching in the 3 game set, but they will face a different kinda staff here. The Cards are off a series vs a hotting cubs squad in which they allowed just 1 run in the 3 games and 0 runs in the last 25 innings of the series. Joe Kelly has a Solid 2.11 ERA at home, but a bad pen has left him with an 0-1 record here. After struggling in their 6 game trip out the gate in the 2nd half they have gotten very comfortable at home. putting up 23 runs in their last 3 here and will get a shot at Chad Billingsley, who was struggled this year. Chad has lost 5 in a row and has a 6.23 ERA in the 5 games, while he is 3-4 with a 4.28 ERA on the road, plus he has gone 0-2 with a 6.41 ERA in 4 career starts here. Both teams are off of sweeps, but the Cards are the better team, they are at home and have the better starter on the mound. St Louis should take this one.
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Betting Strategies: Handicapping TheoriesHost Marco D'Angelo and Pregame Pro Dave Essler discuss there handicapping theories and what they look at when they are handicapping games.