Bet Nationals on Run Line to Sweep Cardinals

Doug Upstone

Wednesday, April 12, 2017 3:55 PM UTC

Wednesday, Apr. 12, 2017 3:55 PM UTC

Among the many crazy storylines so far this season, one is seeing St. Louis in last place in the NL Central with a 2-6 record. The Cardinals will try to avoid being swept in Washington on Wednesday afternoon.

Besides a lack of hitting, the St. Louis bullpen has been a complete disaster, and the Cards will be up against one of the best pitchers in the National League and some large MLB odds in Wednesday's series finale in D.C.


Pitching Matchup: Leake Vs. Scherzer

Mike Leake (0-1, 1.13 ERA) was stellar is his first start of the season for St. Louis, allowing one run over eight innings to Cincinnati. The only problem is that he received no help from his teammates in 2-0 loss. Leake's strength as a pitcher is keeping the ball down and inducing a vast number of ground balls. With Washington having scored 22 runs in this series, it will be tantamount Leake keeps the ball low against these hot Nationals hitters, and he's 3-5 with a 4.86 ERA in 11 starts against them.

Max Scherzer (1-0, 2.70) allowed two runs on four hits and two walks while striking out seven over 6.2 innings to earn the win in his initial start. The Washington right-hander and reigning Cy Young winner is one of the best in the game and has four exceptional pitches he can throw for strikes when needed. When dialed in, he looks like the king of jungle the way he prowls around mound area after a strikeout. Expect the Cardinals to load up with left-handed batters, since right-handers only hit .189 against the St. Louis native last season. Scherzer is 1-3 with a 3.41 ERA vs. the Cards lifetime.

 St. Louis Bullpen & Both Offenses

After Tuesday night, Cards manager Mike Matheny used the word "concerned" in talking about his team's bullpen, which has an abysmal 8.14 ERA with opposing batters hitting a robust .317 against it. The talent is better than the results, but Matheny has to find answers quick or another mediocre season could be coming for the Redbirds. Compounding the problem is the St. Louis offense, which is averaging 3.5 RPG with nobody standing out. Leadoff man Dexter Fowler is batting .161.

The Nationals' offense is the complete opposite of their opponent, averaging 6.0 RPG and virtually everyone has an on-base percentage over .400, which suggests Leake will have to be at his best today.


Betting Odds, History & More Bullpen Numbers

Sportsbooks have Washington as a big -200 favorite for this late-afternoon start with total of 7.5. In taking the first two games in the series, the Nats have grabbed a 5-4 edge at home in the last three years, with the total 6-2-1 'over.' We have talked about the Cardinals' bullpen, but the truth is Washington's numbers are not much better with a 6.49 ERA.


The Winner Is ...

For MLB picks it sure seems Washington or nothing. At -200, that is the safest wager in terms of winning, but comes with risk if for some reason Scherzer is not sharp. My suggestion is find the best Run Line option you are comfortable with, either -1.5 (-105) or -1 (-155) and back the Nats in that manner.

MLB Free Pick: Nationals -1.5Best Line Offered: BookMaker

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