Cardinals at Dodgers Free Pick for May 19th

St. Louis Cardinals +131 vs. Los Angeles Dodgers -141 (Total: 6)

Jake Westbrook (4-2, 2.35 ERA) vs. Clayton Kershaw (3-1, 2.22 ERA)

The Cards and the Dodgers are the only two teams playing in their own league in this opening weekend of interleague play, but this series hasn’t and won’t disappoint.  Last night the Dodgers won 6-5 on a walk-off-walk.  Ok, so it’s not the most enthralling walk-off victory variety, but the drama and quality of play between these two first-place teams was very high.  Tonight, they hook up for game two of the series, each throwing out pitchers who have been fantastic in 2012.

Clayton Kershaw, the reigning National League Cy Young winner is coming off his best outing of the season, outdueling Arizona Monday allowing only four hits and fanning nine batters.  He will try to keep the momentum going tonight against one of the better lineups in the NL.  Kersahw’s 0.91 WHIP is about as good as it gets, so the Cards will have their work cut out for them.

St Louis will counter with Jake Westbrook, who is emerging as a legitimate All-Star and number one starter in 2012.  Carpenter and Wainwright have always garnered the headlines, and Garcia and Lohse have been great as well, but Westbrook has perhaps been the best of the bunch.  However, he is coming off his worst start of the season, lasting just five innings against the Cubs and allowing 11 hits and four runs.  Tonight he will face a Dodger team with the best record in baseball, and a ridiculous 17-4 mark at home.

However, I have a difficult time better on the Dodgers when they are facing a front line starter and a team that is missing their MVP candidate (Matt Kemp) as well as one of their sparkplugs (Jerry Harriston).  But I will say that this six run total is about as low as you will see all season.  And if I’m going to go UNDER six runs in a game, I’d like to see Kershaw pitching against Justin Verlander or Roy Halliday.  No offense to Westbrook, but after his last outing, it is hard to put money on this being a 2-1 or even a 3-2 game.  If pressed for a winner, I’d lean LA, but at -141 it isn’t a great value pick.  However, the OVER feels like a pretty safe wager tonight in Los Angeles (not that anyone in the city will know the game happened, with the Clippers AND the Lakers both hosting Playoff Games today/tonight!)

Free Pick:  Total OVER 6


Chris Scheeren / Author