Lean Nationals' Red-Hot Bats Over Cardinals

bryce harper nationals

Ross Benjamin

Monday, April 10, 2017 5:21 PM GMT

Monday, Apr. 10, 2017 5:21 PM GMT

MLB analyst Ross Benjamin provides some insights pertaining to Monday’s game between St. Louis and Washington. Read on to learn why Ross likes Washington at home. 

St. Louis Cardinals At Washington Nationals

The Cardinals and Nationals open a 3-game series Monday. The opening pitch at Nationals Park in Washington is slated for 7:05 PM ET. Current MLB betting odds indicate that Washington ranges from a -117 to -125 moneyline favorite, and there’s a total of 8.5 across the board. Washington won 5 of the 7 games played between these teams in 2016.

 

Starting Pitchers

Adam Wainwright will make his second start of the season for St. Louis. The veteran right-handed hurler allowed 2 earned runs on 3 hits while walking 2 in 5.0 innings during his 2017 debut. Wainwright made 1 start against Washington a season ago and allowed 4 earned runs while surrendering 3 homers in 7.0 innings.

Washington’s Tanner Roark will also be making his second start of the season. Roark allowed 2 earned runs on 3 hits while walking 2 on April 4 against Miami. Roark is coming off an impressive 2016 in which he went 16-10 with a stellar 2.83 ERA.

 

Silent Cardinals Bats

St. Louis limps into its first road series of the season having lost 4 of their last 5 games. As a matter of fact, the Cardinals have a pathetic .208 team batting average and .597 OPS.

 

Nationals' Red-Hot Offense

Contrary to their opponent on Monday, generating offense hasn’t been an issue whatsoever for Washington. The Nationals have an outstanding .356 team on-base percentage in addition to a sizable .836 OPS through their first 6 games. Washington has also hit an impressive 10 home runs.

 

Struggling Bullpens

Not only have the Cardinals struggled offensively, but their bullpen has been brutal. St. Louis relievers have a cumulative 6.75 ERA, 1.62 WHIP and allowed 6 home runs in just 17 1/3 innings pitched.

One thing that Washington’s productive offensive start has covered up has been the ineptness of its bullpen. The Nationals' relief corps has a combined 7.53 ERA, 1.77 WHIP and surrendered 6 home runs during 20 1/3 innings of work.

 

Final Take & Pick

I have my doubts about Wainwright. Between 2009-2014, Wainwright won 19 games or more 4 times. Since then, he missed most of 2015 due to injury, and in 2016 had a career-worst 4.62 ERA during 33 starts. The St. Louis hurler especially struggled on the road last season, giving up an alarmingly high 18 home runs in 94 2/3 innings pitched and compiled a lofty 6.18 ERA during 17 starts.

I’m giving a small edge to Roark over Wainwright in the starting pitching department, and a substantial advantage to Washington regarding offensive output. I’ll have a lean toward the reasonably sized moneyline home favorite for one of my MLB picks.

MLB Free Pick: Nationals -118Best Line Offered: Heritage

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