MLB Sunday Night Betting: Washington Nationals Finally Worth It?

Jason Lake

Sunday, July 2, 2017 3:02 PM UTC

Sunday, Jul. 2, 2017 3:02 PM UTC

The Washington Nationals haven’t been a very good baseball pick this year, but they might have some value in their Sunday Night Baseball matchup with the St. Louis Cardinals.

We have a bias here at the home office: Every time the Washington Nationals pop up, the first thing we think about is fade, fade, fade. Okay, that’s the second thing we think about. The first thing involves Jeffrey Loria, and let’s just leave it at that. The Nats made us look pretty silly just over a week ago, beating up on poor Homer Bailey, but on the season, they were 47-33 and –0.75 units in earnings heading into Saturday’s action.

Be that as it may, the Nats might be worth a look for Sunday night’s road game (8:00 p.m. Eastern, ESPN) against the St. Louis Cardinals (38-41, –10.04 units). The Cards have just opened at +109 on the MLB odds board as we go to press, but according to FiveThirtyEight, they’re projected to win this matchup 44 percent of the time, which the SBR Betting Odds Converter converts to +127. Interesting.


Hot and Juicy

Sunday must be Opposite Day in the majors. Washington’s projected starter, Max Scherzer (2.72 FIP), is one of the best pitchers in baseball, but he’s also down 1.11 units on a team record of 10-6. And that’s already with the benefit of a tiny .225 BABIP. Compare and contrast with St. Louis starter Carlos Martinez (3.24 FIP), who has the Cardinals 2.72 units in the red at 8-8; he’s also gotten some help from a .260 BABIP, but that’s not quite as extreme as Scherzer’s mark.

The Nats just lost SS Trea Turner (.746 OPS) to a broken right wrist, so that might have something to do with these lines. However, super-utility IF Stephen Drew (.824 OPS) seems capable of filling that spot. Washington has other injuries, and the Cards are in relatively good health... are people really jumping off the D.C. bandwagon, though? Hmmph.

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In 5 June starts, @Max_Scherzer owns a 0.99 ERA and a 0.55 WHIP, and has struck out 12.63 batters per 9 innings.

— MLB Stat of the Day (@MLBStatoftheDay) June 28, 2017

In confusing times like these, we prefer to bail and look at the total for our MLB picks. It’s set at 7.5 runs right now, with the OVER pegged at –130, and both pitchers are due for some regression, judging by those BABIPs. It’s supposed to be frickin’ hot Sunday, too, around 90 degrees at game time. Hot weather means hot bats, and we already know the balls are “juiced” this year. Let’s do this.

Free MLB Pick: OVER 7.5 (–130)
Best Line: BetOnline

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