Thursday night baseball and we will see the Los Angeles Dodgers take on the St Louis Cardinals in game 4 of their 4 game series from Busch Stadium. The game is scheduled for an 1.45 (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 +127. The total for the game sits at 9 runs.
Free Analysis: The Los Angeles Dodgers are hoping a change of scenery will help Hanley Ramirez turn a disappointing season around. the Dodgers came up short in his debut, it was a promising one for a club looking for an offensive spark. Ramirez was the NL batting champion in 2009 and is a career .300 hitter, but he batted .243 in 2011 and was hitting .246 with 14 homers and 48 RBIs with the Marlins this year. Despite his sub-par season thus far, Los Angeles (53-46) is counting on him to be another run producer alongside Matt Kemp and Andre Ethier. The Dodgers rank 26th in the majors with 3.9 runs per game and 21st with a .247 average. Ramirez had no trouble adjusting to his new team Wednesday, tripling in his first at-bat and finishing 2 for 4 with an RBI and a run. Chris Capuano (10-5, 2.81) gets the ball for LA today and he is just 1-3 in his last seven outings despite a 2.62 ERA during that span. Capuano is 5-5 with a 5.33 ERA against the Cardinals after facing them regularly while with Milwaukee. He is 0-3 with a 7.04 ERA in his last five appearances in St. Louis, where he hasn't won since 2005. Furcal and Matt Holliday are a combined 16 for 45 (.355) with one homer apiece against him. Los Angeles has dropped nine of its last 15 to sink 2 1/2 games behind National League West-leading San Francisco. St. Louis is trending in the other direction after winning five of its last six. Jake Westbrook is coming off a strong effort, yielding three hits in seven innings of a 12-0 win over the Chicago Cubs on Saturday. It was the fourth time in six starts he gave up two or fewer runs, allowing four in the other two. The right-hander is 0-2 with a 6.48 ERA in three appearances against the Dodgers. After two relief outings in 2003, he allowed four runs - three earned - in 6 1-3 innings of a 6-0 loss May 19. Ramirez is 3 for 11 with a home run against Westbrook. After winning 9 straight games here the Dodgers have now dropped their last 2.
Free Pick: We will side with the Cardinals in this one. Some interesting stats for Chris Capuano here. Cris may be 5-3 ob the road this year, but his ERA is 4.10, compared to a 1.64 ERA at home. That has been pattern for him in his career as he has a 3.75 ERA in his home starts, compared to a 4.72 ERA in his road starts. Now in last night's game there were temps of over 100 at game time and you can expect similar temps for this one and for a pitcher that seems to tire in the second half that could be a factor. In his career Chris is 10 games over .500 with a 3.70 ERA in the first half, but in the second half he is 12 games under .500 with a 4.88 ERA. We also note that Chris was 3-0 with a 3.57 ERA in 3 career starts at the old Busch Stadium, but he has gone 0-3 with a 7.36 ERA in 4 career starts in this park. Jake Westbrook has been pitching very well for the Cards of late and even though he is just 1-2 in his last 3 starts he has a 2.14 ERA over that stretch. Jake is 5-3 with a 4.01 ERA at home, but in his last 2 home starts he is 1-0 with an 0.66 ERA. The Dodgers are not a great road team, while the Cards are tough at home and looking to keep pace with the Reds.
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MLB Free Picks: Los Angeles Dodgers at St. Louis CardinalsWhat baseball bettors need to know about Dodgers at Cardinals on Thursday (7/26/12) - with Pregame.com's Vegas Runner and host RJ Bell.