The Los Angeles Dodgers (86-51, 40-28 away) and the St. Louis Cardinals (69-66, 35-30 home) begin an important four-game National League series on Labor Day. Los Angeles owns a 2-1 advantage in the head-to-head meetings between the two clubs this season. The four-game set will be the final time the two National League foes battle each other during the regular season.
Monday’s first pitch is scheduled for 4:15 p.m. EST inside Busch Stadium in St. Louis, MO. According to oddsmakers, the Dodgers (-205) are the betting favorite, and the total run over-under is 7.5.
What to Know – Los Angeles Dodgers
Los Angeles dropped two of three over the weekend to the San Francisco Giants, the top team in the NL West, but have a 13-game advantage over the San Diego Padres for the top spot in the wild card race. The Dodgers had a chance to take over the top place in the NL West but remain one game back after the weekend’s series.
Right-hander Max Scherzer (12-4, 2.40 ERA, 0.86 WHIP) is the expected starter for the visitors. Scherzer has been lights out since being traded from the Washington Nationals. The 37-year old is 4-0 in seven starts with a 1.29 ERA since joining the club.
This year, the Dodgers’ offense has been a nightmare for opposing pitchers, ranking fifth in on-base percentage (.330) and tenth slugging percentage (.420) to average 5.1 runs per game. First baseman Max Muncy leads the ball club with 30 home runs and 78 runs driven in.
Catcher Will Smith has already surpassed career-highs in home runs (22) and RBIs (67).
What to Know – St. Louis Cardinals
The Cardinals open up an important week of play with the series against the Dodgers and closing out the week with a three-game set against the Cincinnati Reds. St. Louis dropped two of three to the Milwaukee Brewers over the weekend, including a 6-5 loss on Sunday after surrendering five runs in the ninth inning. St. Louis is three games back of the second wild-card spot in the NL.
Headed to the hill for the Cardinals is right-hander Miles Mikolas (0-1, 4.41 ERA, 1.41 ERA). The 33-year old pitcher has seen limited action this season, battling a shoulder injury. Mikolas hurled three innings in his last start, allowing four earned runs on five hits, one walk, and collecting three strikeouts in the no-decision.
St. Louis ranks 19th in the MLB in on-base (.313) and 22nd in slugging percentage (.400), scoring 4.2 runs per contest. Star third baseman Nolan Arenado joined the club in the offseason and has continued his prowess at the plate, leading the Cardinals with 29 home runs and 88 RBIs. First baseman Paul Goldschmidt has added 24 dingers and 82 RBIs this season.
The Pick is In
The series opener is critical for both teams who come into Monday’s contest off losses on Sunday. Los Angeles has a sizable advantage on the mound and offense, but a trip halfway across the country might cause some sluggish at-bats.
Los Angeles wins this, but it’s a low-scoring opener in St. Louis.
Betting Pick: Under 7.5