Los Angeles Dodgers vs. St. Louis Cardinals Prediction and Over/Under Pick
First Pitch: 8:10 p.m. ET (TBS)
Probable Pitchers: Adam Wainwright (17-7, 3.05 ERA) vs. Max Scherzer (15-4, 2.46 ERA)
Los Angeles Dodgers vs. St. Louis Cardinals Prediction
After a Yankees-Red Sox thriller that concluded with a 6-2 score last night, Wild Card Games are now averaging 7.24 runs per since the format was adopted.
That’s a sample size of 17 contests, and among all of those from 2012 to the present day, this year’s National League version beams one of the top pitching matchups.
I mean, without question, it’s also easily the oldest-ever Wild Card affair, as Waino and Scherzer have both been around for a whopping 31 years combined in the bigs.
Let’s start with the home starter, Mad Max, who has been as reliable as anyone in October throughout his career. In fact, he owns a real commendable 3.34 ERA across 112 total playoff innings while accumulating a tremendous 11.01 K/9.
He’s been very consistent in these monumental assignments, too, allowing more than three runs only three times out of the 18 postseason starts he’s made. Two of those were before 2014, meaning only once did Scherzer get struck for more than three earned in seven years as a Nat.
Throw in the fact that he’s coming off another Cy Young-caliber campaign, and it becomes incredibly difficult to think Scherzer will be off. Instead, it seems likely this will be a typical strong showing.
Then we have Wainwright, another arm that’s been around for quite a while — even longer than his counterpart tonight, having debuted as much as 16 years ago.
He, too, has experienced long-term success in the postseason, even crafting a lower ERA (2.89) than Scherzer within about the same amount of innings (109).
Not only that, Wainwright’s strikeout rate when taking the hill for a playoff outing (9.74 K/9) is notably higher compared to his starts during the regular season (7.59).
There’s obviously a lot to like about both starters in this distinct atmosphere that others struggle in. For Wainwright, it even helps to defy his interesting home-and-road splits that have existed throughout Major League life, in which he has an ERA that’s more than an entire run lower at Busch Stadium than on the road.
Come playoff time; however, the three-time All-Star has been good and steady no matter where he’s worked. Among his seven lifetime playoff starts away from St. Louis, he yielded more than three earned runs just a couple of times. So considering the opposing starter, Scherzer can carry it from there even if Waino gets tagged for around that amount.
Los Angeles Dodgers vs. St. Louis Cardinals Pick
2021 MLB Over/Under Betting Record*: “88-73-10,” +6.39 units
Last Result: Padres-Giants Under 8 (WIN), from Saturday
*Each bet graded as if it were to win 1 unit (playoffs 0.5 unit)