Max Scherzer (1-1, 0.83 ERA) and Michael Wacha (2-0, 1.35 ERA) start in the last of a three-game series between the Washington Nationals (7-8) and the St. Louis Cardinals (9-4) at Nationals Park. The Cardinals won the last game 7-5 and the series is currently tied 1-1. Action begins at 4:05 p.m. ET on Thursday, Apr. 23 and can be seen on FSN-MW, MASN and MLB Network.
Scherzer is 0-1 with a 4.50 ERA in his appearances against the Cardinals, and goes up against a quality St. Louis offense which is batting .263 this season. Michael Taylor (.271, 3 Rs, 2 HRs, 8 RBIs, 2 SBs) went 1 for 5 yesterday with one run. Wacha is 1-1 with a 0.57 ERA when pitching against the Nationals. He takes on a below-average Washington offense which is hitting just .226 this season. Matt Carpenter (.377, 12 Rs, 3 HRs, 11 RBIs) went 1 for 3 yesterday with one run, one home run, and one RBI.
Washington is a -151 favorite against St. Louis and the Over/Under (O/U) for this game is sitting at six runs. The Nationals have an overall money line of -311 and a record as the favorite of 6-5. Washington is an impressive 5-1 as the favorite over its last 10 games. The Nationals have seen an uptick in scoring as of late, averaging 5.1 runs during the last 10 games compared to their season average of 4.0 runs per game. Washington is one of the best in the NL in terms of walks at home, earning an average of 3.3 per game.
In games where it is the underdog, St. Louis has a 2-2 record and an overall money line of +418. The Cardinals are tough outs for opponents, ranking fourth in the NL with 8.9 hits per game. St. Louis's pitching staff has set the standard for its league, with an NL-low 2.69 ERA on the road. When it comes to preventing batters from getting on base, the Cardinals are the best in the league with a WHIP of 1.07 for the season. The Cardinals have established a reputation of overwhelming hitters with an NL-best 8.4 strikeouts per game, making them one of the top five teams in the league.
The Nationals have a 5-7 record against right-handed starting pitchers on the year, which is what they'll be facing when Wacha takes the mound. Scherzer (RHP) will be on the hill against the Cardinals, who have an 8-3 record against right-handed starting pitchers.
Predictions: SU Winner - STL, O/U - Over
The total has gone UNDER in 5 of St. Louis's last 7 games.
St. Louis is 6-1 SU in its last 7 games.
The total has gone UNDER in 5 of St. Louis's last 6 games when playing Washington.
St. Louis is 13-3 SU in its last 16 games when playing Washington.
The total has gone UNDER in 6 of St. Louis's last 9 games when playing on the road against Washington.
St. Louis is 7-3 SU in its last 10 games when playing on the road against Washington.
The total has gone UNDER in 6 of Washington's last 9 games when playing at home against St. Louis.
St. Louis recorded at least two errors for the fourth time this season.
The Nationals are 2-1 in games that go into extra innings. Meanwhile, the Cardinals are 1-1 in such matchups.
The Cardinals are coming into this game after allowing two walks during their last outing. The Nationals have a 0-4 record when opponents give up that many walks or fewer.
When they outhit their opponents, the Cardinals are 6-4. The Nationals have a 5-1 record when outhitting opponents.
Ranking 23rd, St. Louis sits near the bottom of the league in runs, scoring 51 this season. Washington ranks in the bottom half at 17th with 60.
Ranking 21st, St. Louis is near the bottom of the league in walks, notching 40 this season. Washington ranks in the top 10 at ninth with 50.
When the Nationals hit at least one home run, they are 6-5. When the Cardinals hit at least one homer, they have a 5-1 record.