St. Louis Cardinals vs. Los Angeles Dodgers: Predictions, Odds, Best Bets, Starting Lineups (4/28/23)
The Dodgers seemed to be breaking out of their early-season struggles, winning 3 out of 4 against the Cubs before dropping their most recent series in Pittsburgh. For a team trying to crawl their way back in the standing, the Cardinals could be the team that gives the Dodgers some momentum as they sit at the bottom of the NL Central. Can the bats get going and get the best of Dustin May on Friday night?
Let’s make predictions for Friday’s matchup and take a look at why the Dodgers are the better bet.
Cardinals vs. Dodgers Prediction
I was super high on May entering the season, and his season so far – while it’s included some hiccups – is very promising. I’m a believer in May at home against a Cardinals team that hasn’t excelled in many areas this season.
St. Louis’ lineup isn’t bad by any means, sitting high in AVG and near the middle of the pack in home runs, but it hasn’t been the juggernaut many expected. Nolan Arenado’s struggles have been one of the biggest reasons. May has only allowed more than three hits in one of four starts this season and should be able to keep the Cardinals in check.
Like May, Jack Flaherty is still trying to get comfortable, but walks have been a major issue for him. With Max Muncy back in the Dodgers lineup and Los Angeles nearing full strength – plus Flaherty unlikely to give St. Louis much length – the Dodgers seem like the better play here. There’s enough value on Dodgers moneyline (-145) to make that bet.
Cardinals vs. Dodgers Prediction: Dodgers -145
Cardinals vs. Dodgers Odds
The Dodgers enter as home favorites at -145 on the moneyline. The over/under is 8.5 runs. You can get Dodgers -1.5 at +134.
Neither of these teams is where it wants to be right now, but the Dodgers started to show serious promise offensively a week ago and can blame their recent struggles on a few paternity leave absences. Oddsmakers believe this could be a bounce back spot for LA.
Cardinals vs. Dodgers Key Matchups
Here are the key matchups that could decide Marlins vs. Braves.
Dodgers’ Returning Players vs. Rust
The Dodgers were starting to get hot before a two-game skid in Pittsburgh because of how well Max Muncy was hitting, among others. Brusdar Graterol was also emerging as one of the team’s most reliable relievers in a struggling bullpen. Both will be back from the paternity list on Friday, and whether they can jump right in and pick up where they left off will be key.
Muncy had a stretch of 10 home runs in 13 games, all while still walking at a high rate. If he can at least be an on-base machine against Jack Flaherty, this Dodgers lineup will be completely different than it was these last few days.
It’s possible it may take some time for Muncy and Graterol to get back to speed after what were probably some exhausting days. Muncy has been prone to some very cold streaks over the years, including in the opening 10 days of this season.
Cardinals’ High-Contact Lineup vs. Dustin May
Many believed Dustin May was primed for a breakout season as he gets more comfortable after Tommy John Surgery, and the results so far indicate that’s very possible. May has hit a couple bumps, but he’s allowed three or fewer hits in three of his four starts. If he can get walks under control and keep contact low, there won’t be anything stopping him from becoming a legitimate ace in Los Angeles.
Can the Cardinals change the trends and actually produce more than a couple hits against May? For all of their struggles, St. Louis is fourth in baseball with a .265 AVG. It’s the home runs that haven’t come quickly enough. If May limits the Cardinals’ hits, they probably won’t be able to hit for enough power to make up for it.
Cardinals vs. Dodgers Starting Lineups
Cardinals Starting Lineup
CF Lars Nootbaar L
1B Paul Goldschmidt R
DH Nolan Gorman L
3B Nolan Arenado R
C Willson Contreras R
RF Alec Burleson L
LF Tyler O’Neill R
2B Brendan Donovan L
SS Tommy Edman S
Dodgers Starting Lineup
RF Mookie Betts R
1B Freddie Freeman L
DH J.D. Martinez R
3B Max Muncy L
LF James Outman L
CF Jason Heyward L
2B Miguel Vargas R
SS Chris Taylor R
C Austin Barnes R