St. Louis Cardinals vs. Washington Nationals
The St. Louis Cardinals return home as they host the Washington Nationals at Busch Stadium.Â The Cardinals are listed as -145 favorites over the Nationals with an over/under total set at 8.5 runs.
The St. Louis Cardinals had a rough spring and a tough start to the season but over the past week they are looking markedly improved and revitalized. The Cardinals are a game and a half back in the National League Central behind the Cincinnati Reds, have won six of their last 10 games, and have outscored their opponents 88-65. As a team St. Louis is hitting .285 with Colby Rasmus hitting .364, David Freese hitting .360, Lance Berkman hitting .308, and Ryan Theirot hitting .303 and with Matt Holliday back in the lineup they are hoping it means big things for Albert Pujols.Â The Cardinals pitching staff has an ERA of 3.57 with the starters at 3.40 and the bullpen at 3.94. For game one against the Nats St. Louis starts Jake Westbrook who has been disappointing since being acquired via trade last season. For the year Westbrook has allowed 23 hits and 16 runs, 13 of them earned, while striking out eight in 15.1 innings of work.
The Washington Nationals are above .500 on the year and despite clearly being a work in progress this is a team of gamers. The Nationals are two and half games behind the Phillies going 7-3 in their last 10 games and outscoring their opponents on the year 62-61. As a team Washington is hitting .218 with Danny Espinosa hitting .256, Adam LaRoche hitting .245, and Ian Desmond hitting .217. The Nationals pitching staff has a team ERA of 3.44 with the starters at 3.30 and the bullpen at 3.70. For game one against the Cards Washington starts John Lannan who has pitched well this year. For the season Lannan has allowed 18 hits and six earned runs while striking out 10 in 16 innings of work.
St. Louis is 4-1 in their last five games overall, 10-4 in their last 14 games against a team with a winning record, and 1-5 in their last six games following an off day. Washington is 6-1 in their last seven games against a right handed starter, 22-49 in their last 71 road games, and 9-4 in Lannans last 13 starts. Washington is 6-20 in their last 26 games in St. Louis.
St. Louis has been hot and Washingtons bats arent working but the pitching matchup makes it strength on strength and weakness on weakness. I like the chances of the Washington bats on Westbrook edging the Cardinals bats on Lannan.
Washington Nationals +125 St. Louis Cardinals