Cardinals Vs. Dodgers Betting Preview: NL Wild Card Game Pick, Prop Bets

Los Angeles finished 16 games ahead of St. Louis

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The Los Angeles Dodgers won 106 games during the 2021 regular season while defending their World Series title. The reward: a date with the St. Louis Cardinals in the National League Wild Card Game.

The Cardinals (90-72) finished 16 games behind the Dodgers (106-56) for the NL’s top wild-card spot, yet one win now is all that separates each team from the NL Division Series. The winner of Wednesday night’s showdown at Dodger Stadium will advance to the NLDS to face the San Francisco Giants (107-55).

The Dodgers and Cardinals took wildly different paths to reach this point, with Los Angeles widely regarded as the most stacked team in Major League Baseball since Opening Day, whereas St. Louis rode a recent 17-game winning streak to a postseason berth. But none of that matters, as anything can happen in a one-game playoff.

Adam Wainwright will start for St. Louis, while Max Scherzer will toe the rubber for Los Angeles.

Let’s take a look at the odds for the NL Wild Card Game, courtesy of DraftKings Sportsbook, along with three prop bets to consider and a prediction for the winner-take-all clash.

St. Louis Cardinals at Los Angeles Dodgers
Dodger Stadium
Wednesday, Oct. 6, 8:10 p.m. ET

Run line: Cardinals +1.5 (-115), Dodgers -1.5 (-105)
Total: Over 7.5 (+100), Under 7.5 (-120)
Moneyline: Cardinals +190, Dodgers -235

Three prop bets to consider:
1. Max Scherzer Over 7.5 strikeouts (-105)
The Cardinals don’t whiff much. They had the eighth-lowest strikeout rate in baseball (22.3%); sixth-lowest against right-handed pitchers (22.2%). But Scherzer usually is a reliable source of strikeouts, totaling at least eight K’s in 18 of his 30 starts, including 13 in an eight-inning gem against St. Louis on Sept. 6 and nine over six shutout frames versus the Cardinals on April 21.

2. Justin Turner Over 0.5 RBIs (+130)
Turner is batting cleanup for the Dodgers, with three superstars — Mookie Betts, Corey Seager and Trea Turner — setting the table in front of him. That alone should provide at least one RBI opportunity, especially when you consider Trea Turner’s career numbers against Wainwright (8-for-19) plus his speed to score from anywhere on the base paths with the veteran third baseman at the plate.

Justin Turner also is a stud in the postseason, batting .295 with 12 home runs, 41 RBIs and an .899 OPS in 72 career playoff games (314 plate appearances).

3. Dodgers to score in the first inning (Yes, +200)
The top of Los Angeles’ lineup, as mentioned, is absolutely electric. And consider this: the Dodgers have scored more runs (118), totaled more hits (169) and have a higher OPS (.901) in the first inning than any other frame this season.

Pick: Dodgers -1.5 (-105)
There’s not a ton of value in picking the Dodgers on the moneyline (-235), as you’d need to wager $235 just to win $100. So, the better play is to lay the 1.5 runs and hope Los Angeles wins comfortably, a scenario that seems well within reason given how well Scherzer has pitched in Dodger blue.

Scherzer is 7-0 with a 1.98 ERA, a 1.96 FIP, a 0.82 WHIP and 11.7 strikeouts per nine innings in 11 starts since being traded to LA. The Dodgers won four of their seven games against the Cardinals this season, outscoring them 35-10 in those victories.

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