A pair of playoff contenders will wrap up their three-game series on Wednesday night at Dodger Stadium. The St. Louis Cardinals will be going for the series sweep over the Los Angeles Dodgers. St. Louis has won eight consecutive series to get themselves back into the playoff race.
The Los Angeles Dodgers are now 3.5 games out in the very tight National League West. The Dodgers are also 2 games behind the Colorado Rockies and sit in third place in the division. St. Louis has moved to just 2.5 games back of the Chicago Cubs in the National League Central race. Both teams need every win they can get at this point in the season. The Los Angeles Dodgers are -154 in the series finale.
Carpenter Continues to Amaze For Cards
The resurgence of first baseman Matt Carpenter is what has propelled the Cardinals on this impressive run. Carpenter blasted his league-leading 34th home run on Monday night to help the Cardinals to the series-opening win. On Tuesday night, Marcell Ozuna hit his 16th home run to pace the Cardinals suddenly red-hot offense.
22 year old Jack Flaherty will make the start for the Cardinals on Wednesday night. Flaherty is just one of several young pitchers that have shined in the St. Louis rotation this season. He is 7-6 with a 3.05 earned run average through 20 starts in 2018. He looks to pitch the Cardinals to a series sweep on Wednesday night.
Dodgers Offense Needs to Produce
The Los Angeles Dodgers made a bunch of moves before the trade deadline in an effort to improve their offense. Newly acquired shortstop, Manny Machado hit a home run in the loss on Tuesday night, but he has struggled for the Dodgers. He is hitting just .282 with five home runs and 12 runs batted in through 31 games with Los Angeles.
Right hander Walker Buehler will try to stop the losing skid for the Dodgers on Wednesday night. Buehler is 6-4 with a 3.19 earned run average through 15 starts this season. He will need to be sharp as the Dodgers bullpen has been struggling of late. Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen gave up two home runs in his return from the disabled list to take the loss on Monday.
Los Angeles Wins Series Finale
The Dodgers were supposed to be the team to beat in the National League, but are on the verge of missing the playoffs. St. Louis looked to be out of the playoff race before the All-Star Break, but have taken off since firing Mike Matheny as their manager. The Cardinals will look to win their 9th game in 11 chances on Wednesday night.
Los Angeles needs to find more consistent offense to make a playoff push. Manny Machado and Brian Dozier were brought over to lead the offense, but neither has produced much in LA. Look for the Dodgers to find a way to sneak out a win in this game to salvage the series finale. Bet the Dodgers -154 over the Cardinals.