The St. Louis Cardinals get their turn to host the Milwaukee Brewers in the best-of-seven National League Championship Series, as the two bitter NL Central rivals square off tonight at Busch Stadium with the count 1-1 in what is heating up to be the most entertaining series in the MLB Playoffs. The action for online sportsbook betting only gets better tonight in Game 3 as top pitchers from both rotations hit the mound, with Chris Carpenter of the Cardinals facing Yovani Gallardo of the Brewers. Coming off a blowout 12-3 win in Game 2, the Cardinals no doubt have some momentum swinging in their favor, especially with the playoff veteran Carpenter starting at home in front of an offense sporting an 9 run per game average through 2 games. However standing up against Yovani Gallardo, Milwaukee’s hot-handed 25-year old, the St. Louis bats may just be hoping to get some contact and edge out a small-ball game in what should be a tightly contested match-up for sports betting tonight at one of the best sportsbooks reviewed here.
Yovani Gallardo may not have as much experience in the playoffs, but what experience he does have is exceptional. Starting only 4 times in the postseason including 2 starts this year, Gallardo sports a 0.86 ERA with a 1-1 record giving up just 2 earned runs (5 total) in 21 innings of work. The only bad thing about those numbers seem to point to a lack of run support for Gallardo, which may not be in Milwaukee’s favor with their starting pitcher sporting a 1-3 record with a 5.70 ERA against the Cards this season. Milwaukee has won both games in his appearances so far this postseason, but if Yovani Gallardo can’t figure out how to get past the surging Cardinals’ bats led by slugger Albert Pujols, it could be another runaway game for St. Louis again tonight.
Chris Carpenter is the right man in the right place for St. Louis tonight. Needing to turn the corner in the series with a win in the first of the only 3 games played at Busch Stadium in the NLCS, the Cardinals put up the guy with the most playoff credentials, with Carpenter sporting 11 playoff starts under his belt along with a 6-2 record and a 2.94 ERA. Sporting a decent 2-2 record with a 3.86 ERA against Milwaukee this year, Carpenter has been one for headlines recently and has seemingly gotten into the heads of Brewers players a little bit heading into his start tonight. Expect a few brush backs from the 6’6″ Carpenter against a few of his less-liked opponents, and also expect the intra-team drama to add some nice flavor for betting on sports tonight at one of the top sportsbooks featured here.
Betting lines for St. Louis Cardinals vs. Milwaukee Brewers
Betonline.com Sportsbook gets our nod for the featured top sports betting site of the day, and has the St. Louis Cardinals with -149 odds to win in front of what should be a raucous home crowd waving squirrel towels like mad. Yovani Gallardo and the visiting Brew Crew get +139 odds on the money line, with the points spread at 1.5 runs given to Milwaukee for -170 odds, and the Cards needing to cover 1.5 runs for a solid +150 price. Though this series has seen 15 runs a game scored through the first two encounters of the NLCS series, the over/under with two aces on the mound sits at 7 runs, -105 odds over, -115 odds under.
Our Pick to Win:
When St. Louis’ bats are hot, especially at home, you better watch yourself and those crooked numbers being put up on the scoreboard against opposing pitching. While Milwaukee puts out one of their best young starters in Yovani Gallardo tonight, the Cardinals are swinging the big sticks behind one of the most veteran starting playoff pitchers in the league, and definitely have the upper hand entering this match-up. The game changer tonight may be whether Milwaukee’s staff can keep Albert Pujols at bay, as the St. Louis star hitter just about single-handedly beat the Brewers on Monday night. If they can, maybe the Brewers eek out a win in Game 3 tonight, however I’m putting my money on St. Louis to jump out early and often to cruise to another big win, 7-3.
Players to Watch, St. Louis:
Albert Pujols, 1B – I like stats okay, so I put Pujols first. He’s 12-for-27 lifetime against Gallardo (.444 average) with 4 jacks and 11 RBIs. He comes into tonight’s game off a 4-for-5 night with a homer, 3 doubles and 5 RBIs which means you can expect to see some big swings from Big Albert tonight.
Rafael Furcal, SS – The Cards’ lead-off hitter went 0-for-5 in Game 2, but sports a .417 average against Gallardo and gets on base against him often (5 hits, 4 walks in 12 at-bats). He’ll be necessary to be on base for a big St. Louis stick like Holliday, Berkman or Pujols to have a chance at making one game-changing swing tonight.
Players to Watch, Milwaukee:
Rickie Weeks, 2B – Weeks is due for a break-out after having a sluggish 2011 postseason batting just .120 in October and hitting just 2 for his last 15. He likes hitting Carpenter it seems, going 6-for-10 lifetime against him with 3 homers and 6 RBIs, so look out for this guy to make an appearance on the score sheet tonight.
Prince Fielder, 1B – Hitting a solid .308 against Carpenter over his career, Fielder should be one to look for to make a difference tonight for the Brewers. He’s hitting .333 in the playoffs with 3 homers and 6 RBIs, so it’s just a matter of time before the Prince goes yard again.