MLB Predictions Preview …The Los Angeles Dodgers take off on their first road trip with new superstar Manny Ramirez in the fold. The first stop is against the Cardinals at Busch Stadium in St. Louis. The Dodgers and Cardinals are holding down second place spots in their respective divisions; LA 1.5 games back of Arizona in the NL West and St. Louis 5.5 back of Chicago (Cubs) in the NL Central. The Cardinals will send 2006 Cy Young Award winner Chris Carpenter to the mound for his home debut since returning to the lineup from 18 months on the DL. The Cardinals right hander has a 2.25 ERA to go along with a 0-0 record this season. The Dodgers will start ace right hander Chad Billingsley. Billingsley has a 11-9 record and a 3.04 ERA this season.
MLB Predictions Betting Line… Oddsmakers at online sportsbook Bodog (Bodoglife.com) currently have the Dodgers listed as 112-moneyline favorites versus the Cardinals, while the game's total is sitting at 8. The Cardinals are getting +103 money line favorites as a home underdog.
Billingsley beat the Giants with a five-hitter and is 7-2 since mid-June. He leads the Dodgers rotation in all the pertinent categories: victories, strikeouts, innings, etc. He's become the latest staff ace.
Carpenter will try to stretch it past four innings in his first home start since undergoing Tommy John elbow ligament replacement surgery. He'll likely be on an increased, but still limited, pitch count. That means a major key for the right-hander will be getting off to a good start, so he doesn't use up all of his pitches in the first two or three innings. His pattern in rehab starts as well as his first regular-season start was a slow beginning, followed by significant improvement.
The Dodgers defeated Arizona 9-3 as a -135 favorite on Sunday. The 12 runs scored went OVER the posted over/under total (8.5).
Manny Ramirez was 4-5 with a home run and three RBI for Los Angeles, while Matt Kemp was 3-5 with a home run and three runs scored in the win.
The Cardinals lost to Philadelphia 5-4 as a -110 favorite on Sunday. The nine runs scored fell UNDER the posted over/under total (9.5).
Troy Glaus was 2-4 with a home run and two RBI for St. Louis, while Ryan Ludwick was 2-3 with a solo home run and two runs scored.
MLB Game Prediction … Take the Cardinals as a home underdog +103 ml.