MLB odds: Dodgers vs. Cardinals prediction, odds, pick, and more – 9/9/2021
The Los Angeles Dodgers will attempt to seal a series win on Thursday morning while the St. Louis Cardinals look for a split of the four game series. It’s time to continue our MLB odds series and make a Dodgers-Cardinals prediction and pick.
St. Louis currently stands at 70-68 and is 36-32 at home. If you put $100 on every single Cardinals game so far this season, you’d be down $241 on the moneyline.
Los Angeles currently stands at 88-52 and is 42-29 on the road. If you put $100 on every single Dodgers game so far this season, you’d be down $468 on the moneyline.
Here’s how sportsbooks have set the Dodgers-Cardinals odds.
MLB Odds: Dodgers-Cardinals Odds
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Los Angeles Dodgers ML (-190)
St. Louis Cardinals ML (+160)
Over 8.5 Runs (-105)
Under 8.5 Runs (-115)
Why The Dodgers Could Win This Game
For the first time in over a month, Tony Gonsolin will take the mound for the Dodgers.
Gonsolin has made 10 appearances for the Dodgers this season, with nine of them being starts. He has pitched to a sterling 2.78 ERA, and Los Angeles has won six of his nine starts.
In his first start back, the righty gets an excellent matchup in the Cardinals. Gonsolin’s biggest strength this season has been keeping the ball in the yard, only allowing four homers over 35.2 innings. Now, he gets to match up against a team that hits the seventh least homers in the league.
Gonsolin detractors will point to his astonishingly high walk rate of 6.56 BB/9. While this is an eyesore, the Cardinals haven’t shown the potential to exploit this weakness. They walk at the eighth lowest rate in the Major Leagues, and their only strong batter with a below average chase percentage is Paul Goldschmidt. Tommy Edman (29.0%), Nolan Arenado (29.2%), and Yadier Molina (38.0%) all chase pitches at a higher than average rate then the typical player (28.2%).
If the Cardinals aren’t willing to take walks, they aren’t going to do much damage to Gonsolin.
At the plate, the Dodgers get to matchup with starter/long-reliever Jake Woodford.
In three starts this year, Woodford has had poor results. In 13.2 innings, he’s allowed nine earned runs and the Cardinals have lost two of his three starts.
Aside for beating up on a hapless Cubs offense in his first start this year, Woodford was shelled in his two other outings, allowing a homer in both games and failing to pitch past the fifth inning in either.
The biggest red flag for Cardinals backers tonight is Woodford’s inability to handle teams with patience and pop. In 14.1 innings against squads that ranked top ten in OPS, he’s allowed nine earned runs. This includes 2.1 innings against the Dodgers where he allowed a solo shot in relief. It’s likely the Dodgers tag him for a few runs at minimum in a short stint.
Why The Cardinals Could Win This Game
Thanks to Adam Wainwright, the Cardinals bullpen finally got some badly needed rest coming in to a hugely important matchup. Wainwright pitched 8.1 innings last night, which allowed the bullpen to pitch less than four innings in a game for the first time in five days.
This is great news for Jake Woodford, who has fresh arms to back him up. Woodford has been fairly average all year, but his strength is in short stints. As a reliever, his ERA is just above 4.00, which should be passable today with an erratic starting pitcher opposing him.
If Woodford can go three or four quality innings, he’ll get the ball to a bullpen that has been excellent at limiting a major Dodger strength: the home run. As a group, the Cards ‘pen has allowed the least home runs in the league, and racked up the fifth most strikeouts. The recipe for a Cardinals win lies in opening an early lead, and depending on a fresh bullpen to hold their own.
The odds Woodford gets through this Dodgers lineup unscathed are low, which means he’ll need the Cardinals bats to back him up. Ironically, the best thing the Cardinals could do to win tomorrow is not to swing the bat too much.
Tony Gonsolin has been handing out walks left and right all year. In just 35.2 innings, he’s walked 26 batters. As mentioned above, the Cardinals have struggled with patience all year. However, they’ve draw 11 walks in their last four games, and the veteran hitters on the team should recognize who they’re going up against today.
In seven of his ten appearances, Gonsolin has walked at least two batters. Even the Cubs and Rockies, who have the third and fourth lowest walk rate in the NAtional league respectively, drew free passes apiece against him.
It’s tough to trust a pitcher who hasn’t thrown a ball in the major leagues in over a month to come out and display no rust. It’s even harder when that pitcher has Gonsolin’s track record. As long as the Cardinals can display even an inkling of control at the plate, they should find it easy to get some traffic early.
Final Dodgers-Cardinals Prediction & Pick
Both of these teams have been fairly cold at the plate of late, but it seems like a breakout is due tomorrow. Neither starter should go more than five innings, and both should allow some damage. The last time Gonsolin returned from a lengthy injury layover, he walked five batters against a poor Pirates offense. Combine that with the fact that Woodford has a sky-high HR/FB rate (17.5%), and you have a recipe for a high-scoring game. This game should be tighter than expected, but we should definitely see runs aplenty. Take the over.
FINAL DODGERS-CARDINALS PREDICTION: OVER 8.5 RUNS (-105)