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MLB: Dodgers favored at home over soaring Cardinals

Written by:
Carrie Stroup
Published on:
Aug/18/2009

Last night's St. Louis and Los Angeles contest had all the drama and intensity of a playoff game, with the Cardinals coming out on top 3-2 as -160 money line road favorites behind Chris Carpenter. This evening, the roles will be reversed, with the Dodgers the larger favorite and trying to find the magic formula that worked earlier this season. Early numbers show nearly 70% of bettors at Sportsbook.com are backing the host favorites.

The Dodgers (70-49, +11.2 units) have lost seven of 10 games, seeing their lead in the NL West dwindle to 4.5-games and now have the same amount of losses as Philadelphia in the National League, jeopardizing their hold of the best record in the senior circuit.

Take away the two nine run explosions that resulted in victories and L.A. has totaled 20 runs in the other eight games (2.5 runs per outing). Matters have been made worse with the starting pitchers being mildly ineffective and injuries creeping up.

Tonight's starter, Chad Billingsley (11-6, 3.73 ERA) hasn't pitched in 11 days due to left hamstring strain and will have to be watched cautiously. Billingsley hasn't had much success against St. Louis with 0-2 record, with a 5.23 ERA in four starts, including being rocked for six runs and walking six in 5 2/3 innings of a 10-0 Redbirds whitewashing. The Dodgers have lost Billingsley's last four home starts against teams with winning record.

St. Louis (68-52, +6.2 units) is making all those trade deadline pickups work and has won nine of its last 10 contests. Manager Tony LaRussa's offense has been improved with Matt Holliday and Mark DeRosa, however the pitching has been brilliant in allowing just over three runs per game during this stretch.

It was evident in last night's contest that the confidence the Cardinals are playing with and tonight's starter Mitchell Boggs (1-1, 3.78) has given the Cards a chance to win. Though he was roughed up in suffering his first loss of the season last week against Cincinnati, the 25-year old right-hander has kept his team in the game and they have won five of his six starts in 2009. Boggs would become a permanent part of the rotation, but as has been the case in the past, 20 walks in just over 33 innings has made him less than trustworthy.

The Dodgers are 12-3 avenging a one run loss this season and sports bettors have moved them from -160 money line favorites at Sportsbook.com to -180, with the total Un8.5. L.A. has won 60 of last 86 games as a home favorite and is 12-4 OVER after allowing four runs or less in four straight games this season.

St. Louis is a decided underdog, yet is 14-3 on the road when the total is 8 to 8.5 and has the same record when they have an on-base percentage of .375 or better over their last five games this season.

This battle of division leaders is set for 7:10 Pacific and is available for viewing in local markets with the Cards 16-6 UNDER after a win by two runs or less this season.

StatFox Power Line - L.A. Dodgers -188

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