NY Post
Kate Barrington  |  Wed 10th Apr   | MLB

The Los Angeles Dodgers may have finally found their match as the St. Louis Cardinals have now made it two wins in a row.

Yadier Molina and Paul Goldschmidt connived to power their team to a 4-0 shutout win against the reigning National League champion on Tuesday at Busch Park in St. Louis, Missouri.

After winning eight of their first 10 assignments (including five straight wins), the Dodgers’ juggernaut had come to screeching halt in St. Louis where they received a not-so-good welcome from Cardinals starting pitcher Miles Mikolas.

The 30-year-old veteran was a handful against the Dodgers in six innings, allowing three runs and five hits in the season-opener.

Goldschmidt, the Cardinals biggest offseason acquisition, continues to deliver the goods so far. He scored the game-winning run in Game 1 and then capped up a statement win in Game 2 with a homer in the sixth inning.

The Dodgers, who lost back-to-back games for the first time this season, will be counting on the still undefeated Kenta Maeda to get things back in order. The Cardinals, meanwhile, will be countering with Jack Flaherty in Wednesday night’s showdown (7:10 PM EST) at Busch Stadium. The St. Louis Cardinals are -1.5 points favorite over the Los Angeles Dodgers.

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Los Angeles Dodgers Team Preview

The Dodgers (8-4) entered the series against the Cardinals (6-5) brimming with confidence after they routed the Colorado Rockies in all three games.

As usual, Cody Bellinger was terrific in those games. The first baseman racked up six hits and five RBIs in the Colorado series while batting a staggering .425 at the plate.

In two games against the Cardinals, Bellinger sustained his batting efficiency at over .400, the only difference was he couldn’t convert those hits into runs. St. Louis has done a masterful defensive job on the field, finding ways to halt any scoring opportunities for the Dodgers.

The good news for the NL champs is the steady progress of ace pitcher Clayton Kershaw. According to Bradford Dolittle of ESPN, the former CY Young winner finished his second rehab start for Double-A Tulsa and could be suiting up for the Dodgers sooner rather than later.

St. Louis Cardinals Team Preview

Goldschmidt has homered for the sixth time in 11 games, tying Ken Boyer (1960) and Lou Brock (1967) for the most by a Cardinals player in the team’s first 11 games of a season during the live-ball era. Quite an accomplishment for a guy who inked a five-year, $130 million deal in the offseason.

But it’s not only the new guy who is contributing for the Cardinals’ resurgence. Molina, Kolten Wong, Paul DeJong, and Matt Carpenter are also chipping in with key numbers at the plate, while Marcell Ozuna has been all-out on the defensive end.

Los Angeles Dodgers vs. St. Louis Cardinals Betting Pick

The Cards are rolling, the Dodgers are stalling.

Heading into Game 3 of a four-game series, expect both managers to make the necessary adjustments.

With their high-octane offense, the Dodgers are always threatening to explode like a volcano at any moment. However, the Cardinals proved the past two days that they can tame even arguably the most potent offense in baseball.

Flaherty, who is sporting a 3.86 ERA with 10 strikeouts in 9.1 innings, has also respectable resume against the Dodgers’ batting corps. He had faced Bellinger, Max Muncy, Joc Pederson, AJ Pollock, and Enrique Hernandez before, and only one of them drove a run against him.

It’s going to be a close game but I think St. Louis will score a third consecutive victory over the Dodgers by the narrowest margin. Don’t be surprised if Goldschmidt delivers another clutch play in the later innings to secure a one-point win.

Bet the Los Angeles Dodgers +1.5 points underdogs against the St. Louis Cardinals.

Check out all of our MLB previews & picks here

Kate Barrington