Michael Wacha (15-4, 2.69 ERA) and the St. Louis Cardinals (86-46) square off against Max Scherzer (11-11, 2.88 ERA) and the Washington Nationals (66-65) in a game that has the potential to be low scoring. This is the last of a three-game series at Busch Stadium. The Cardinals won the last game 8-5 and St. Louis leads the series 2-0. Action begins at 8:15 p.m. ET on Wednesday, Sep. 2 and can be seen on MAS2, FSMW and ESPN.
Wacha pitched 6.0 innings in his most recent start, surrendering zero runs (four unearned), striking out six and walking two in a 5-4 defeat to the Giants. Scherzer went 7.0 innings, surrendering four runs and striking out eight in a 4-3 defeat to the Marlins in his last outing. Bryce Harper (.333, 92 Rs, 31 HRs, 78 RBIs, 6 SBs) has been successful at the plate for the Nationals, going 2 for 2 yesterday with one RBI.
St. Louis is a -122 favorite against Washington and the Over/Under (O/U) for this game is sitting at six runs. The Cardinals have recorded an overall money line of +2,869 and have shown high-level performance as a favorite this season with a record of 72-29. St. Louis is an impressive 7-1 as the favorite over its last 10 games. The Cardinals have seen an uptick in scoring as of late, averaging 5.7 runs during the last 10 games compared to their season average of 4.1 runs per game. Crossing over to the pitching staff, the Cardinals are the fourth-best team in the NL at limiting hits to their opponents, allowing only 8.3 hits per game so far this season. Opponents have consistently been struck out by the Cardinals, who rank fifth in the NL in strikeouts per game with 8.1.
Over in the other dugout, Washington is coming in with an overall money line of -1,402 and a disappointing record of 13-24 as the underdog. They have been on a bit of a dry streak over their last 10 games. They managed a 0-1 record when playing as the underdog. Offensively, the Nationals have really picked up the pace in the last 10 games. They have exceeded their season average of 4.3 runs per game by averaging 5.5 during that stretch.
The Cardinals lead the season series, 4-1. The Cardinals have a great 38-11 record at home (66-31 overall) against right-handed starting pitchers, which is what they'll be facing when Scherzer takes the mound. Wacha (RHP) will be on the hill against the Nationals, who have a 49-50 record against right-handed starting pitchers.
Predictions: SU Winner - StL, O/U - Over
When leading after 7 innings, St. Louis is 30-17, while Washington is 32-29.
The Nationals managed to give up eight walks in their last game. They'll have to pick it up against the Cardinals who are heading in with a 2-0 record against opponents who give up that many walks or more.
When they are outhit, the Nationals are 10-55. The Cardinals have a 22-31 record when opponents outhit them.
St. Louis ranks near the bottom of the league at 22nd when it comes to home runs, hitting 111 this season. Washington ranks in the top 10 at ninth with 138.
Ranking 11th, Washington is in the top half of the league in hits, notching 8.38 per game. St. Louis ranks in the top five at fifth with 8.69.
Ranking 16th, St. Louis is in the bottom half of the league for its on-base plus slugging percentage (.720). Washington ranks in the top half at 14th with an OPS of .723.
The Nationals are 29-40 in games where they allow one or more home runs. The Cardinals are 35-31 when they allow at least one homer.