The St. Louis Cardinals will look to complete a three-game sweep of the Los Angeles Dodgers Wednesday night. St. Louis beat the Dodgers 5-3 on Monday and 5-2 on Tuesday. However, Los Angeles is listed as a -154 favorite to win Wednesday and avoid the sweep.
The Dodgers have been an utter disaster since the end of July. They have won just three of their last 11 games, falling to third place in the NL West. Los Angeles is now 3.5 games behind the Diamondbacks at the top of the division and 2.5 games off the pace in a crowded National League wild-card race.
The Cardinals, meanwhile, are one of the hottest teams in baseball. They have won 12 of their last 14 games, a run that began with an 8-game winning streak. St. Louis has pulled within 2.5 games of the Cubs in the NL Central, moving past the Brewers and into second place. Also, with Tuesday’s win, the Red Birds officially moved into the top wild-card spot in the National League.
Rookie Slump Buster
The Dodgers will send rookie Walker Buehler to the mound Wednesday to help them out of their slump. Buehler is having an impressive rookie campaign, going 6-4 with a 3.19 ERA and solidifying a spot in the Los Angeles rotation for the stretch run. He’s also been lights out in his last four starts, allowing just four runs over 25.1 innings.
Wednesday will be his first time facing the Cardinals, although the St. Louis lineup should be one that he can handle. The trio of Marcell Ozuna, Harrison Bader, and Jose Martinez is carrying the Cardinals at the moment. Despite the team’s recent success, much of the lineup is in the midst of a slump. If Buehler can prevent those three from causing him harm, he’ll have a chance to give the Dodgers another quality start.
Ace in the Making
The Cardinals will counter Buehler with a young ace of their own in Jack Flaherty. In 20 starts this season, the 22-year old Flaherty is 7-6 with a 3.05 ERA. Much like Buehler, he only seems to be getting better as the season goes along. In his three starts during the month of August, Flaherty is 3-0 with a 0.95 ERA.
The Los Angeles showed signs of waking up over the weekend against the Mariners. They scored 11 runs on Friday and then plated 12 on Sunday. However, the St. Louis pitching staff has stifled them to the past two days. Justin Turner and Manny Machado have led the way recently, but the rest of the Dodgers have been largely unreliable offensively outside of those two outbursts in Seattle.
All 9 Innings
With Flaherty and Buehler on the mound, this game is set up to be a pitcher’s duel. However, neither is likely to go nine innings, leaving the game in the hands of the bullpens. The St. Louis bullpen has looked strong over the first two games of this series. Meanwhile, the Dodgers are overwhelmed with bullpen injuries despite getting Kenley Jansen back from the DL on Monday. Once this game gets to the bullpen, St. Louis has the edge. Bet on the Cardinals +154 to beat the Dodgers and complete the sweep on Wednesday.