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Game Preview: Dodgers Head to St. Louis as Wild Card Race Heats Up

Dodgers
Sep 7, 2018; Denver, CO, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Clayton Kershaw (22) pitches in the first inning against the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

Los Angeles Dodgers at Cincinnati Reds

Time: 4:15 PM PT

Venue: Busch Stadium

St. Louis Record: 81-65

Los Angeles Record: 79-67

How are the Dodgers Doing?

It took seven tries for the Dodgers to finally beat the Reds this year. They experienced an offensive outpour with eight runs on Wednesday, sparked by a solo home run by Joc Pederson in the fourth inning. Ross Stripling made his first start since early August, allowing one run in 3.1 innings.

Why is this Game Important?

This four-game series between the Dodgers and Cardinals may dictate the difference between a playoff spot and a playoff flop. The Dodgers currently trail the Cardinals for the second wild-card spot by two games. The Dodgers would rather win their division but a strong performance this weekend can at least strengthen their hopes for a wild-card game.

The Cardinals swept the Dodgers in a three-game series in Los Angeles in August.

Pitching Matchup

Clayton Kershaw (7-5, 2.42 ERA) vs Austin Gomber (5-0, 2.43 ERA)

Clayton Kershaw earned his seventh win of the year in his last outing in Colorado, where he allowed two runs over six innings. He posts a career 3.68 ERA at Busch Stadium in the regular season, which ranks fifth worst among any Major League stadium where Kershaw has ever pitched.

Since moving from a reliever to a starter, all Austin Gomber has been able to do is win. The Cardinals’ rookie went 5-0 with a 2.38 ERA in last month. He faced the Dodgers in August, getting the no-decision after allowing two runs over five innings.

Matchup of the Day

Brian Dozier vs Austin Gomber

After a hot start with the Dodgers, Brian Dozier’s magic has worn off dramatically. He has just one hit in 23 at-bats in September. He hit at least eight home runs in the final month of the season over each of the last two years.

Vegas Odds

Odds Sharks

Predicted Score

Los Angeles: 5.4

Cardinals: 3.6

Moneyline Consensus

Los Angeles: -186

Cardinals: +175

FiveThirtyEight

Los Angeles: 53% chance of winning

Cardinals: 47% chance of winning

Fun Fact

Austin Gomber has a 5-0 record to begin his career. The record for most wins before a loss in a pitcher’s career belongs to Hooks Wiltse and Butch Metzger who picked up 12 consecutive wins before their first loss.

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Written by Arthur Cribbs

Arthur Cribbs is a journalism student at Howard University in Washington, D.C. He is a lifelong Dodgers fan and when he is not at school, he resides in Los Angeles.

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