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Wednesday NL Showdown

Pitchers: Ricky Nolasco vs. Shelby Miller

L.A.’s 15-game road winning streak was snapped in St. Louis last night as L.A.’s offense let their ace Clayton Kershaw down again. Kershaw continues to have the lowest ERA in MLB but he’s struggled to get run support all year from his mates and it cost them last night. But one road loss doesn’t make a season and L.A’s still got to be happy that the streak helped propel them into 1st place in the NL West. They look to get back on track tonight in Game 3 of this four-game set with the Cardinals.

St. Louis has to be happy they got a win back after a tough road trip that saw them drop 1st place in their own division. But the next few games are a chance for them to make up some of that ground they lost and they’ve got the right guy on the hill to do so tonight.

Shelby Miller may not be a household name throughout MLB yet but fans in St. Louis know all about him. He’s 18th in the entire league in ERA (2.89) and the Cardinals have won two-thirds of his starts this year (14-7). He was the starting pitcher back in May when these two teams last met and he was on the right side of a 5-3 Cardinals win as one long-ball HR in the 1st inning was his only real blemish. He had outdueled Kershaw that evening and knows that his offense is confident after beating L.A’s lefty again last night.

That is the same Cardinals offense that has scored nearly five runs per game for Miller all season (4.6) and have put an average of 6.30/game across the dish for him in his last three starts. St. Louis is 7-1 SU in his last eight starts at home and he’s been favored in all eight of those contests.

To top it off the Cardinals get to face the righty Ricky Nolasco tonight and they are a much better offensive team against right-handers. They hit .280 as a team against righties this year (opposed to .239 vs. southpaws) and that number even goes up five points to .285 when they’re at home. They’ll have guys like Holliday, Beltran and Furcal in their lineup tonight and all have hit Nolasco pretty hard throughout their careers. All three of those guys have faced Nolasco at least 19 times and the worst average they’ve posted is .318 (Beltran). So chances are that offense will continue to put up 5+ runs for Miller again tonight and that should be more than enough.

Miller will continue to do what he’s done all season and shut the Dodgers bats down. L.A. has to be deflated after getting their win streak snapped and I love to go against teams in the next game after a long winning streak has been broken. Tonight, I’m doing the same.

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