Dodgers vs. Cardinals Opening Day odds, player prop predictions and best bets against the spread

With Spring Training and all the good and bad that came with it in the rearview mirror, the Dodgers will host the Cardinals on opening day Thursday (4:10 p.m. ET). Our comprehensive betting preview will get you up to speed on this star-studded NL matchup, and also reveal our best bets and top props for the game. 

A lot has gone down since the Dodgers lost to the eventual NL-champion Diamondbacks in the NLDS last fall. Los Angeles landed Shohei Ohtani and Teoscar Hernandez in free agency, acquired Tyler Glasnow, re-signed Clayton Kershaw, and extended Will Smith. It seemed to be an all-positive offseason, until Ohtani and his interpreter recently became subjects of a gambling-related investigation by MLB

In comparison, the Cardinals had a boring offseason. That may or may not be a good thing, considering they finished in last place in the NL Central last fall and racked up the franchise’s most single-season losses in 33 years. St. Louis did bag veterans Sonny Gray, Lance Lynn, and Kyle Gibson, but Gray is already hurt and Lynn and Gibson are both 36. Maybe Goldy and the Nolans can carry the Birds?

The Dodgers enter opening day as big favorites, a position this MLB superteam will likely be in for the majority of the 2024 season. Let’s take a look at the odds and assess which traditional bets and player props from BetMGM actually yield value for this NL showdown.

Dodgers vs. Cardinals Opening Day odds

All odds and props are from BetMGM, an authorized gaming operator of the NBA.

  • Run line: Dodgers -1.5 (-115) | Cardinals +1.5 (-105)
  • Moneyline: Dodgers -225 | Cardinals +185
  • Over/under: O 9 (+100) | U 9 (-120)
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No surprises here. The Dodgers open the season with prized offseason acquisition Tyler Glasnow on the mound, while the Cardinals counter with Miles Mikolas coming off his worst full season as a pro (4.78 ERA, MLB-high 226 hits, NL-high 107 earned runs in 201.1 IP). 

The Dodgers finished last season second in the majors in team runs, home runs, RBIs, walks, average, slugging percentage, and OPS. Then they added the best player in baseball (Shohei) and one of the most underrated sluggers (Teoscar Hernandez). This team is scary good. 

Dodgers vs. Cardinals Opening Day predictions, best bets

Forget all the noise around Shohei and his interpreter. Forget that Jason Heyward, Walker Buehler, Clayton Kershaw, and multiple other arms are starting the season hurt, and that Shohei can’t pitch until 2025. This is still the most stacked team in baseball, and one of the better overall clubs we have seen in the 21st century.

The Cardinals, meanwhile, aren’t great. Their rotation was terrible in 2023, and they tried to plug the holes with an infomercial sealant rather than a professional fix. St. Louis needed an ace, and here we are witnessing Miles Mikolas go up against Tyler Glasnow on opening day with a barrage of Dodgers sluggers licking their chops. 

MORE: Sporting News’ model’s projections for 2024 season

Think about how many MVPs Los Angeles has atop its order: Ohtani, Mookie Betts, and Freddie Freeman have four between them, and Hernandez, Smith, and Max Muncy have all been All-Stars. If Gavin Lux has even a decent year, this lineup could break records.

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The Cardinals aren’t bad, per se — young starting pitcher Zach Thompson has a lot of promise, Nolan Gorman could be in line for a huge breakout season, and you’re almost always guaranteed good production with Paul Goldschmidt and Nolan Arenado. However, St. Louis just isn’t remotely close to the level this Dodgers team will likely reach this season. It’s a different stratosphere.

FINAL SCORE PREDICTION: Dodgers 8, Cardinals 4 — The Dodgers easily win -225 and cover (-1.5), and the score finishes well OVER the projected total (9.0)

Dodgers vs. Cardinals top player prop bet

Freddie Freeman total bases — OVER 1.5 (-105)

You can’t exactly pitch around Freeman with the power he has on either side of him in the Dodgers’ batting order. So, Miles Mikolas will likely need to throw to the perennial MVP candidate, who happens to enjoy a career slash line of .385/.429/.923 against the mustachioed righty. In 13 total at-bats versus Mikolas, he has racked up five hits, two homers, and a double. Let’s get this party started, Freddie!

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