Tonight’s matchup between the St. Louis Cardinals and the Los Angeles Angels features two teams going in opposite directions. Despite boasting one of the best lineups in baseball, the Cardinals have limped out to a 10-19 record, while the Angels spent the first month staying afloat in the AL West at 15-14. St. Louis will look to turn things around when they send Steven Matz (0-3, 6.23 ERA) to the mound in tonight’s season opener, while the Angels will counter with Patrick Sandoval (2-1, 3.16 ERA). First pitch is set for 7:45 p.m. ET.
The Cardinals are -130 favorites on the moneyline at DraftKings Sportsbook, while the Angels are +110 underdogs. The total is set at 9.
Angels-Cardinals picks: Tuesday, May 2
Out: RP Ryan Tepera (right shoulder inflammation), RP Jose Quijada (left elbow inflammation), RP Austin Warren (right elbow soreness), 1B Jared Walsh (insomnia), C Max Stassi (left hip strain)
Out: SP Adam Wainwright (groin strain), RP Wilking Rodriguez (right shoulder), RP Packy Naughton (left forearm strain), C Tres Barrera (knee soreness)
Patrick Sandoval vs. Steven Matz
One of the stars of the World Baseball Classic, Sandoval is coming off a strong month of April that ended with him allowing two earned runs in seven innings in a win over the Oakland Athletics. Sandoval’s efficiency is a bit of a mixed bag, as he’s among the league’s best in hard-hit rate (96th percentile) but has struggled with limiting baserunners, enteringenters tonight’s start with a 1.286 WHIP, a 22nd-percentile strikeout rate and a 32nd-percentile walk rate.
Matz has been a dud since signing with St. Louis prior to the 2022 season, as he’s posted a 5.59 ERA in 74 innings since. Like Sandoval, he’s struggled with limiting traffic on the bases, and currently ranks in the 31st percentile in walk rate and the 26th percentile in expected batting average.
This seems destined to clear the over. While Sandoval has better stats than Matz (and probably is a better pitcher at this point), he’s run into trouble with baserunners this season — which is the same problem that has plagued Matz. Both of these teams have strong offensive units (even if the Cardinals haven’t shown it a ton this season), and should be able to scratch plenty of runs across the board.
Pick: Over 9
The Angels are too good to pass up here at plus money. While the Cardinals are the more complete squad top-to-bottom, they currently look like they’re stuck in the mud, and are sending out the worse of the two starters. Give me the Angels.