Two veteran hurlers move into the center of the frame for the National League Wild Card Game on Wednesday. Max Scherzer and the Los Angeles Dodgers take on Adam Wainwright and the St. Louis Cardinals in a postseason clash. The Dodgers fell just short of a division title despite 106 wins, with the Cardinals engineering a fantastic finish to reach this game out of the NL Central. The winner of this one-game series will face the No. 1 seed San Francisco Giants in the NLDS beginning later this week. 

First pitch is at 8:10 p.m. ET in Los Angeles. Caesars Sportsbook lists Los Angeles as the -219 favorite (risk $219 to win $100) on the money line, while the over-under, or total number of runs Vegas thinks will be scored, is 7.5 in the latest Cardinals vs. Dodgers odds. Before making any Dodgers vs. Cardinals picks, you need to see what SportsLine's Larry Hartstein has to say

Hartstein, SportsLine's senior analyst and an Early Edge podcast regular, is a blistering 84-57 in his last 141 MLB picks, returning more than $1,300. He is also 40-20 in his last 60 MLB picks overall.

In addition, Hartstein has an amazing 34-18 record on his last 52 picks involving Los Angeles, returning more than $1,600. Anyone who has followed him is way up.

Now, Hartstein has dialed in on Dodgers vs. Cardinals and just released his coveted 2021 NL Wild Card Game picks and predictions. You can visit SportsLine now to see Hartstein's picks. Here are the MLB odds and betting lines for Cardinals vs. Dodgers:

  • Cardinals vs. Dodgers money line: Los Angeles -219, St. Louis +199
  • Cardinals vs. Dodgers over-under: 7.5 runs
  • Cardinals vs. Dodgers run line: Dodgers -1.5 (-105)
  • STL: The Cardinals are 45-36 on the road in 2021
  • LAD: The Dodgers are 58-23 at home this season

Why you should back the Cardinals

The Cardinals finished the season on a tear, winning 19 of the last 22 games to clinch a spot in this contest. They are a top-five team in the NL in batting average (.244) and strikeout avoidance, with St. Louis also stealing 89 bases to rank No. 3 in the league. Paul Goldschmidt, Tyler O'Neill and Nolan Arenado lead the offense with more than 30 home runs each, and Wainwright gets the nod on the mound in this must-win scenario. 

Wainwright lands in the top 10 of the National League in ERA (3.05), hits allowed (7.3 per 9 innings), walks allowed per nine innings (2.18) and innings pitched (260.1), with high-end experience in big games. St. Louis also deploys an above-average bullpen, with a season-long ERA of 3.97 and a top-five mark in the NL in wins above replacement in 2021.

Why you should back the Dodgers

In addition to having the deepest team in baseball and a tremendous offensive profile that includes 830 runs to lead the National League this season, the Dodgers can take solace in sending a truly elite starting pitcher to the mound in Scherzer. Scherzer has a sparkling 1.98 ERA since joining the Dodgers midseason, and he is No. 2 in the National League with a 2.46 ERA overall. Scherzer leads the NL in hits allowed (5.9 per 9 innings) and walks allowed (1.8 per 9 innings) among qualified starters, and he is also No. 2 in the NL in strikeout rate, punching out 11.8 batters per 9 innings. 

Since arriving in Los Angeles, Scherzer has 89 strikeouts and just eight walks, painting the picture of his dominance. If he struggles or tires, Scherzer can also hand the game to the National League's best bullpen. The Dodgers lead the league in wins above replacement for relievers, and they have a 3.16 ERA while striking out 9.6 batters per 9 innings as a bullpen unit.

How to make Cardinals vs. Dodgers picks

Hartstein is leaning over on the total and has discovered a critical X-factor that has him jumping all over one side of the money line. He's sharing that pick only at SportsLine.

So who wins Dodgers vs. Cardinals in the 2021 NL Wild Card Game? And what critical X-factor makes one side of the money line a must-back? Visit SportsLine now to see which side of the money line to jump on, all from the MLB expert who's 34-18 record on his last 52 picks involving Los Angeles, and find out.