Originally written on Dodgers Rumors  |  Last updated 7/23/12

 By SBRForum.com

The LA Dodgers were swooning going into the All-Star break, but thanks goodness for the returns of Matt Kemp and Andre Ethier. Because LA, like at least some of us who offer up free MLB picks figured it would, regained a bit of stream with a three-game sweep of the Mets in New York over the weekend.

Now the Dodgers move on to St. Louis for a four-game set with the Cardinals.

A Queens Sweep

Coming out of  the All-Star break LA dropped two of three games to both the Padres and Phillies. So they went into New York last Friday in a bit of a downer. But the Dodgers roughed up Johan Santana on their way to a 7-6 victory Friday, held off the Mets Saturday 8-5, then got the sweep Sunday with an 8-3 decision, scoring five times in the top of the 12th after reliever Javy Guerra blew the save in the bottom of the ninth.

In winning as +140 underdogs Friday, -125 favorites Saturday and +140 dogs Sunday, the Blue Crew made a tidy $380 on the weekend, based on theoretical $100 wagers on each game.

So heading into Monday's play LA, at 52-44, sits in second place in the NL West, a game and a half back of first-place San Francisco. The Dodgers are also only a half-game back of Atlanta, which owns the second NL Wild-Card spot at the moment.

On to St. Louie

LA now meets a Cardinals team that just swept three games from the Cubs over the weekend by a combined score of 23-1. Yeah, that's not a misprint – 23-1. So St. Louis, at 50-45, sits five games back in the NL Central, and two games out in the NL Wild-Card scrum.

Chad Billingsley will come off the DL to start Monday's game for the Dodgers against Joe Kelly for the Cardinals; Then Tuesday Clayton Kershaw will go against Adam Wainwright; Wednesday it'll be Aaron Harang vs. Kyle Lohse; and Thursday Chris Capuano will start vs. Jake Westbrook.

In the first and only previous meeting this season between these two teams the Dodgers swept three games from the Cards in LA back in May by scores of 6-5, 6-0 and 6-5. Interestingly, Kemp missed all three of those games, while serving his first stint of this season on the DL.

As of Monday morning BetOnline is listing the Dodgers as +140 underdogs to win this series, with the Cardinals giving -160 as the favorites.  

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