The Los Angeles Dodgers got back in the win column on Friday night, topping the slumping St. Louis Cardinals in the opening game of this weekend series from Dodger Stadium. The two NL blue-bloods will be back at it again on Saturday night, with first pitch scheduled for 9:10 p.m. ET. It’ll be a battle of lefties on the mound, with Jordan Montgomery (2-3, 3.81 ERA) going for St. Louis against Clayton Kershaw (4-1, 2.32).
The Dodgers are -145 favorites on the moneyline at DraftKings Sportsbook, while the Cardinals check in as +125 underdogs. The run total is set at 8.
Cardinals-Dodgers picks: Saturday, April 29
Out: SP Adam Wainwright (groin strain), RP Wilking Rodriguez (right shoulder), RP Packy Naughton (left forearm strain)
Out: SP Michael Grove (groin), SS Miguel Rojas (hamstring), DH J.D. Martinez (back), SP Ryan Pepiot (oblique), SP Jimmy Nelson (elbow), 2B Gavin Lux (knee), RP Daniel Hudson (ankle), RP Blake Treinen (shoulder), SP Walker Buehler (elbow), RP JP Feyereisen (shoulder), RP Alex Reyes (shoulder)
Jordan Montgomery vs. Clayton Kershaw
It’s been a frustratingly inconsistent start for Montgomery, who’s juggled ugly starts (seven runs in four innings against the Arizona Diamondbacks) with good ones (three starts in which he’s gone at least six innings while giving up two or fewer runs). His straight changeup has long been his signature pitch, but it’s been hit a bit harder than usual this season, as his command isn’t quite locked in yet. He could bounce back against a Dodgers lineup that struggles against lefties, though.
What can you say about Kershaw that hasn’t already been said? The future first-ballot Hall of Famer is at it again in his age-35 season, with the same elite command and nigh-unhittable slider and curveball. Since a loss to the Diamondbacks back on April 7, Kershaw has allowed just three earned runs while striking out 19 over his last three outings.
I actually think the Cardinals will be able to scratch across at least two or three runs against Kershaw, while Montgomery is solid but not overwhelming. I’ll take the over after these two teams cleared this number pretty easily last night.
Pick: Under 8
Far be it from me to ever doubt Kershaw, but I’m taking the Cardinals and the plus odds in this spot. For all its struggles on offense, St. Louis has actually hit lefties very well so far this season, with several key hitters (especially Nolan Arenado) having had success against Kershaw in the past. With the sturdy Montgomery on the mound against a scuffling Dodgers lineup, I think the Redbirds get a much-needed win.