There are 14 games on the Memorial Day MLB schedule – always one of the big days of the regular season – and the clear marquee pitching matchup is at 9:10 p.m. ET as Jack Flaherty and the St. Louis Cardinals visit Trevor Bauer and the Los Angeles Dodgers. Both have a shot at winning the NL Cy Young Award this season; Bauer of course won it last year with the Cincinnati Reds. The Dodgers opened as -160 favorites at William Hill Sportsbook and the total is the lowest on the board at Over/Under 7 runs.
Mets ace Jacob deGrom is the -130 favorite at William Hill to win his third career NL Cy Young (and also pitches Monday night in Arizona). Flaherty is priced at +1600 and that seems like great value with how good the right-hander has been. He leads the majors with eight wins against just one loss and has a 2.84 ERA, 1.07 WHIP and 58 strikeouts in 57 innings. That ERA jumped a bit last time out as Flaherty gave up seven runs (three earned) over 3.2 innings in a loss at the White Sox. Flaherty's defense didn't help him much.
He is a Los Angeles native so this surely will have special meaning. Flaherty has faced the Dodgers four times in his career and is yet to allow more than one run in a start against his hometown team. In two starts at Dodger Stadium, Flaherty has an ERA of just 0.69 with 20 strikeouts in 13 innings but didn't get a decision in either outing. Finally, the 25-year-old has the lowest opponents' batting average (.141), ERA (1.08), WHIP (0.68) & strikeout-to-walks ratio (7.20) of any pitcher with four or more starts vs. the Dodgers since the start of 2018.
Bauer is +1800 to win his second straight Cy Young. The 30-year-old, also a Los Angeles native, is 5-3 with a 2.09 ERA, 0.82 WHIP (fourth in the majors) and 91 strikeouts (fifth in MLB) in 69.2 innings. Bauer has allowed two or fewer earned runs in 10 straight starts. He has faced the Cards just twice in his career, in 2015 with Cleveland and 2019 with Cincinnati. He's 0-1 with a 5.56 ERA.
Monitor the status of Dodgers outfielder and former NL MVP Mookie Betts. He was scratched from Sunday's lineup due to sever allergies. Betts apparently had trouble keeping his eyes open. It sounds as if he will be back in the lineup.
Monday is the first meeting of the season between the Cards and Dodgers – they didn't face each other in the shortened 2020 season. It could very well be a playoff preview with St. Louis leading the NL Central and the Dodgers a couple games back in the NL West. They are -230 favorites to win the West, while the Cards are +110 to win the Central.
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