I just can’t seem to hit on the playoff games thus far. You can see my previous picks here. However, I’m confident enough in my pick today to state it up front. I like the Dodgers in today’s game 4 of the NLDS series between Los Angeles and St. Louis.
2014 NLDS Game 4: Los Angeles Dodgers @ St. Louis Cardinals – Cardinals lead 2-1
After last night’s game 4 3-1 victory by St. Louis the Cardinals are one win away from punching their ticket to the NLCS while the Dodgers are on the brink of elimination and facing the prospect of being downed by the Cardinals for the 2nd postseason in a row. Cardinals starter John Lackey picked up his first postseason win with St. Louis as he pitched 7 innings while only allowing 1 earned run on 5 hits. He struck out 8 and walked 1 batter.Closer Trevor Rosenthal picked up his 2nd save of the postseason as he pitched the 9 inning and didn’t allow an earned run on 2 hits. 3rd baseman Matt Carpenter continued his red-hot start to the postseason with his 3rd home run. He was 2 for 4 in the game with his other hit being a double, also his 3rd of the postseason. 2nd baseman Kolten Wong was 1 for 4 with a 2-run home run. Left-fielder Matt Holliday was 1 for 3 with 1 walk. Catcher Yadier Molina was 2 for 4 with 1 run scored. The Cards scored 1 run in the bottom of the 3rd inning and 2 runs in the bottom of the 7th inning. They out-hit the Dodgers 11 to 7. Los Angeles reliever Scott Elbert was saddled with the loss as he pitched just 0.2 of an inning while giving up 2 earned runs on 3 hits. Starter Hyun-Jin Ryu pitched 6 innings and gave up 1 earned run on 5 hits. The Dodgers used 5 pitchers in the game. Shortstop Hanley Ramirez was 3 for 4 with an rbi. Center-fielder Yasiel Puig continued his struggles in the series going 1 for 4. Puig struck out 3 times bringing his series total to 8 strikeouts. However, his lone hit was a triple. The starting pitchers for today’s game are lefty Clayton Kershaw for the Dodgers and right-handed Shelby Miller for the Cardinals. Kershaw will be pitching on only 3 days rest as he got the game 1 loss on Friday. In game 1 he pitched 6.2 innings while allowing 8 earned runs on 8 hits. He struck out 10 batters. During the regular season Miller had a 10-9 record for the Cardinals with a 3.74 era and 127 strikeouts in 183 innings pitched. He has a 2-0 record with 6 no decisions in his last 8 starts.
Dodgers vs Cardinals Prediction
As I was writing this column it was announced that Puig will be out of the lineup for the Dodgers today. I think that’s a pretty bold and risky move with their season on the line but he has been struggling. Center-fielder Andre Ethier is his replacement in the lineup. I still have to go with the Dodgers though because I think Kershaw’s bad game 1 outing (really just one bad inning) will fuel his fire today. He’s one of just a few aces in the league who can shut down an opposing lineup when he has to and I think today he will do just that.
Take the Dodgers -164 (Bovada.lv)