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St. Louis Cardinals vs. Los Angeles Dodgers: Picks, predictions, odds and player props

While the majority of the teams in MLB action on Thursday are playing their first games of the season, that applies only to the St. Louis Cardinals in their matchup with the Los Angeles Dodgers.

The Dodgers have already played two games against the San Diego Padres in South Korea and it's a tough start to the season for the Cards against the favorites to win the World Series, but like all Dodgers games this season, it should be one that's well worth watching.

St. Louis Cardinals vs. Los Angeles Dodgers betting picks and predictions

Los Angeles Dodgers -1.5 (-120)

The Dodgers have a 1-1 record coming into their first game on American soil, having split their two-game series with the Padres in South Korea.

They got off to a perfect start when winning the first game 5-2 and Tyler Glasnow, who was the starter for that game, will again be taking the hill for this contest.

Things quickly went awry for the Dodgers in their second game against the Padres, as starter Yoshinobu Yamamoto lasted only one inning on his Major League Baseball debut after giving up five runs. That basically became a bullpen game for the Dodgers and they were still in the hunt when trailing 12-11 after eight innings, but ended up with a 15-11 loss.

With Glasnow back for this home opener after an eight-day break that more than offsets the overseas travel, the Dodgers should be looking to post another statement win.

They are unsurprisingly just -245 odds to win the game, but taking them -1.5 on the run line at -120 looks perfectly fair.

The Cardinals finished last in the National League Central last season with a 71-91 record, a full 29 wins behind the Dodgers, who went 100-62 before crashing out in the National League Division Series with a 3-0 series loss to the Arizona Diamondbacks.

By recruiting superstar Shohei Ohtani, the Dodgers have shown they really mean business. Even though the Japanese two-way ace cannot pitch at the moment due to injury, he still poses a major threat as a hitter after leading the AL in home runs and on-base percentage and leading the Majors in slugging percentage and on-base plus slugging percentage last season.

The Dodgers should be able to win this contest by a clear margin against underwhelming Cardinals starter Miles Mikolas.

Over 8.5 runs (-120)

After scoring 16 runs in their first two games of the season it would be little surprise if the Dodgers are able to clear this game total with minimal assistance from the visiting Cardinals.

The Cardinals were well aware they needed to upgrade their pitching rotation for this season, but with new signing Sonny Gray on the IL to start the season, they are left with the same opening-day starter as last season in Mikolas.

The 35-year-old Mikolas is a two-time All-Star, but has had a losing record in each of the last four seasons. He went 9-13 last year with an ERA of 4.78 - his worst figure since his 2014 season with the Rangers.

The right-handed pitcher looks extremely vulnerable on his first outing against a lineup that features a number of left-handed bats. The doubts over the St. Louis starter combined with the power in the Dodgers lineup should help to carry this game total over.

Four of the teams' meetings last season went over, including a 24-run game in May.

Mookie Betts to hit a home run (+425)

Dodgers' right-fielder Mookie Betts already has six hits for the season after registering two and four respectively against the Padres.

He is also already on the home-run scoreboard after a 400 ft homer to left center in the fifth inning of the second game. The competition from Ohtani may well be spurring on Betts and it would not be a surprise if he goes yard again on his return to LA.

Miles Mikolas under 3.5 strikeouts (-105)

Miles Mikolas signed off the 2023 season with his best performance for some time as he registered 10 strikeouts against the Reds in October.

However, that was the first time he had reached double digits for Ks since May and he had many more days with only two or three strikeouts.

That included a performance against the Dodgers in May when he registered only two Ks despite staying in the game for seven innings.

He may be on the hill for a much shorter time on Thursday if he begins to get knocked around by the lethal Dodgers lineup and taking him to record three or fewer strikeouts could pay off.

Read more betting picks and predictions for the MLB on site

St. Louis Cardinals vs. Los Angeles Dodgers odds

St. Louis Cardinals

+200 ML

Los Angeles Dodgers

-245 ML

Run Line

Dodgers -1.5 (-120)

Total

O/U 8.5

St. Louis Cardinals vs. Los Angeles Dodgers player props

Player Home Run odds

Shohei Ohtani (LA)

+235

Max Muncy (LA)

+310

Teoscar Hernandez (LA)

+400

James Outman (LA)

+425

Mookie Betts (LA)

+425

Nolan Gorman (STL)

+425

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This article was written by a partner sports writer via Spotlight Sports Group. All odds displayed on this page were correct at the time of writing and are subject to withdrawal or change at any time.

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