Arizona Diamondbacks at St. Louis Cardinals Betting Preview

Paul Goldschmidt is facing his old team for the first time since his trade to St. Louis in December as the Arizona Diamondbacks are in St. Louis for a weekend series with the Cardinals. Both teams are in the thick of the Wild Card race and are looking to start the second half on the right foot. The moneyline on Saturday night’s game is St. Louis -125.

Diamondbacks Finding Themselves

Arizona began the second half with a 46-45 record, 13.5 games behind the division-leading Los Angeles Dodgers but just two games behind Washington for the top Wild Card spot and a game and a half-game behind Philadelphia for the second Wild Card spot. The Diamondbacks ended the first half with a three-game winning streak and will look to build upon that.

Merrill Kelly will take the mound for Saturday’s game, looking to improve on his 7-8 record. He’s lost his last two decisions and hasn’t recorded a win since June 12. The right-hander has an ERA of 4.03 and has struck out 81 batters in 105 innings of work this season. He has at least been able to give the Diamondbacks some innings in most starts, working at least five innings in his last eight starts.

The Diamondbacks’ offense has moved on without Goldschmidt, posting a .259 team batting average in the first half, fifth in the National League. Ketel Marte and Eduardo Escobar made the All-Star team and rightfully so. Marte is hitting .311 with 20 home runs and 53 RBI. Escobar is hitting .296 with 18 home runs and 67 RBI. Goldschmidt’s replacement, Christian Walker, is hitting .267 with 17 home runs and 45 RBI.

Can St. Louis Get Hot Again?

The St. Louis Cardinals came into the second half with a .500 record of 44-44, just two games behind the Chicago Cubs for first place in the National League Central, and 2.5 games behind the Washington Nationals for the first Wild Card and two games behind Philadelphia for the second Wild Card. It is imperative for the Redbirds to get off to a good start after losing a series to the lowly San Francisco Giants before the All-Star break.

Injuries have been a problem for the Cardinals this season, and catcher Yadier Molina was just put on the 10-day injured list, joining top slugger Marcell Ozuna and closer Jordan Hicks, who is out for the season. Taking the mound for this one is Dakota Hudson, who has probably been the Cardinals’ best starter this season. Hudson has a 7-4 record with a 3.51 ERA and has won five of his last six decisions. In his last game, he went five innings against San Francisco, allowing three runs on six hits while striking out six to pick up the win.

The St. Louis offense has been just short of awful this season. Touted as a bright spot of the team after they acquired Goldschmidt from Arizona in December, they have been stuck in neutral for most of the season, as their record shows. The Cardinals are hitting .244 on the season, 11th in the National League. Goldschmidt is hitting .254 with 16 home runs and 37 RBI. Part of the reason Goldschmidt’s RBI total is down is that leadoff hitter Matt Carpenter is hitting just .216, with an on-base percentage of just .325. St. Louis’ lone All-Star was shortstop Paul DeJong, who is hitting .258, with 13 home runs and 36 RBI.

Prediction Time

This is a critical series right out of the chute for both teams. Arizona took the opener to gain the early edge, but Hudson has been very good on the mound this season, especially of late. St. Louis evens things up with a victory in this one.

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