Washington Nationals vs. St. Louis Cardinals Baseball Betting Odds
By Mike Rose
Don’t look now, but the St. Louis Cardinals are only five games back in the NL Central pennant chase and only sit two games out in the NL Wildcard race. The team has done a complete 180 under the watch of interim manager Mike Shildt winning 17 of 26 games to go from one game over .500 to nine games ahead of a breakeven pace. That’s a position the Washington Nationals wish they were in with the club underachieving in a huge way a second straight season.
Washington Nationals vs. St. Louis Cardinals
Date and Time: Thursday, August 16, 2018, 7:15 p.m. ET
Location: Busch Stadium, St. Louis, MO
MLB Odds: Check Back Later
Probable Pitchers: Tanner Roark vs. Jack Flaherty
Nationals vs. Cardinals TV Coverage: MLB Network
Six games out in the wildcard race, this is a make or break series for Bryce Harper and the Nats. If losing to the Cubs on a grand slam in the bottom of the ninth wasn’t enough to make you sick, dropping the opener of this series in St. Louis after giving up five runs the last two innings should do the trick. Washington was on life support as it was. The loss might just have been the straw that broke the camel’s back.
Winning the NL East looks nothing but a pipe dream now that they’re seven games off the pace of the Atlanta Braves, and they also need to chase down the Phillies for the Wildcard. Good luck with that. Monday night’s heartbreaking loss dropped the Nationals a game below .500 on the road where they’ve cost baseball bettors over $600 to date. It also moved them to 1-3 their last four visits to the Show Me State.
What a difference a change of scenery makes. Giving Matheny the axe, benching unproductive veterans and shipping another out has done wonders for the franchise. Still, the Redbirds face a steep uphill climb to get back into the NL Central pennant race, so at best, they’re likely looking at a one game playoff should they actually see the comeback all the way through and get into the second season.
Monday’s comeback win moved the team to a season-high nine games over .500. In doing so, they clawed to within five games of front running Chicago and within two games of the Brewers and Phillies for the Wildcard. Regardless of how the rest of the season turns out, you have to imagine Shildt has caught the attention of upper management to at some point return “interim” from his job title.
Matt Carpenter –The veteran is one of the main reasons for the Redbirds turnaround. While his bat was silent the first couple months of the season, it’s been red hot over the last 10 weeks. He entered this series with a .280 average and 68 RBI. Most impressive are his 30 freaking 3 home runs! Over St. Louis’s last 10 games, the utility man has gone yard seven times. Seven times! He launched a three run bomb in Monday’s series opener to begin the late inning comeback. We’ll see just how locked in he is at the moment with the lefty just 1-for-6 with a K and two walks against Tanner Roark lifetime.
Nationals vs. Cardinals Picks
Speaking of Roark, he’s 1-2 with a 6.00 ERA, 1.87 WHIP and .323 BAA through three career starts against the Cardinals. It gets even uglier at Busch Stadium where he’s 0-2 through a pair of career starts with a 7.88 ERA and .308 BAA. I don’t foresee it getting any prettier in this outing. On the flipside, Jack Flaherty has been pitching out of his mind over his last two turns. He tossed six innings of shutout ball at the Pirates in PNC, and then followed it up with seven innings of 2 ER ball allowed at the Royals in Kansas City. St. Louis has split his eight home starts where he’s the owner of a 3.53 ERA and 1.11 WHIP through 43.1 innings. This will be the first time Washington will have seen his stuff, and that bodes tremendously well for the rookie pitcher. The Nats are cooked. Look for the Redbirds to put the form in ‘em tonight!
MLB Pick: Bet the Cardinals at BookMaker.eu
MLB Score Prediction: St. Louis 8 – Washington 2