A year after winning the World Series, the Dodgers enter the postseason with baseball's second-best record ... and are rewarded with a do-or-die matchup with the red-hot Cardinals in Wednesday's NL wild-card game.Will Los Angeles survive to set up a divisional showdown with the Giants, or can St. Louis keep its late-season magic alive? Cardinals (+200) @ Dodgers (-240), total 7.5Oct. 6, 8:10 p.m. ETOn paper, this is one of the most lopsided wild-card matchups in MLB history, if only because Los Angeles is one of the best wild-card teams in MLB history. The Dodgers' 106 wins are the most ever by a club in the wild-card round, and they're only the second team since the playoffs expanded in 2012 (after the 2017 Yankees) to be favored by more than -200 at this stage.There's no question that, in a vacuum, this group deserves to be priced as a juggernaut. Los Angeles' lineup ranks fifth in fWAR (29.5) and seventh in wOBA (.327) despite down years from perennial MVP candidates Mookie Betts (.264/.367/.487) and Cody Bellinger (.165/.240/.302). Even so, the Dodgers still feature five hitters with an OPS+ of 130 or more and have six batters with at least 20 home runs on the year.And then there's Wednesday starter Max Scherzer, who's been historically good since Los Angeles traded for him at the deadline. The three-time Cy Young winner boasts a 1.98 ERA and 1.96 FIP since leaving the Nationals and has allowed more than two runs just twice in those 11 starts. Crucially, though, those came in his last two outings of the season, when he allowed a combined 11 runs (10 earned) with just 10 strikeouts and a whopping 17 runs.It was a reminder that, yes, Scherzer is hittable. The Dodgers are beatable. And the Cardinals might be the ones to do it.If you only watched the last month of the MLB season, you might think St. Louis was the heavy favorite in this matchup. The Cardinals have won 19 of their last 22 games dating back to Sept. 11 - the best record in baseball over that stretch - thanks to contributions across the roster.St. Louis' bats boast MLB's highest fWAR (6.4) since the start of that run with four hitters - Paul Goldschmidt, Tyler O'Neill, Harrison Bader, and Dylan Carlson - all boasting an OPS over 1.000 on at least 75 plate appearances. (L.A. has two such players in that stretch.) On the mound, Adam Wainwright has been a revelation, posting a 2.16 ERA over his last 10 starts, which is nearly identical to Scherzer's ERA (2.02) over the same period.Even the battle of the bullpens is a virtual dead heat. Since recording his second save of the season Aug. 7, Cardinals reliever Giovanny Gallegos leads MLB in fWAR (1.1) - just ahead of Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen (0.9) - and has allowed one run in 13 appearances (0.71 ERA) since becoming the full-time closer Sept. 8.If this were a five- or seven-game series, the Dodgers' body of work would make them an easy play. In one game, though, it's hard to justify backing Los Angeles as a massive moneyline favorite, or even on the run line at a coin-flip price. Instead, I'm happy riding baseball's hottest team as a long shot.Pick: Cardinals +200C Jackson Cowart is a sports betting writer at theScore. You can follow him on Twitter (@CJacksonCowart) or email him at [email protected] © 2021 Score Media Ventures Inc. All rights reserved. Certain content reproduced under license.
Dylan Carlson hits a go-ahead, two-RBI single to help the St. Louis Cardinals take a 5-4 lead over the Chicago Cubs in the seventh inning.
Condensed Game: Dylan Carlson hit two home runs and the Cardinals got a strong outing from J.A. Happ in a 4-3 win over the Brewers
Dylan Carlson homers twice in Cards' win over Crew
After snapping their 17-game win streak on Wednesday, the St. Louis Cardinals bounced back with 4-3 win over the Milwaukee Brewers Thursday afternoon. Dylan...