Doug Fister (1-0, 0.69 ERA) and John Lackey (1-0, 2.77 ERA) start in the second of a three-game series between the Washington Nationals (7-7) and the St. Louis Cardinals (8-4) at Nationals Park. The Nationals won the last game 2-1 and Washington leads the series 1-0. Action begins at 7:05 p.m. ET on Wednesday, Apr. 22 and can be seen on FSN-MW, MASN and ESPN.
Fister pitched 6.2 innings in his last outing, surrendering one, striking out four and walking four in a 5-2 win over the Phillies. Bryce Harper (.265, 10 Rs, 4 HRs, 8 RBIs) went 1 for 4 yesterday with one RBI. Against the Nationals, Lackey is 1-0 with a 1.12 ERA, 1.00 WHIP, and six strikeouts. Matt Holliday (.425, 5 Rs, 7 RBIs, 2 SBs) has been successful at the plate to the start the season, going 4 for 4 yesterday with one RBI.
Washington is a -129 favorite against St. Louis and the Over/Under (O/U) for this game is sitting at seven runs. The Nationals have an overall money line of -311 and a record as the favorite of 5-5. Washington is one of the best in the NL in terms of walks at home, earning an average of 3.1 per game. Crossing over to the pitching staff, the Nationals are the top team in the NL at limiting hits during home games, allowing only 6.7 hits per contest to their opponents this season.
Over in the other dugout, St. Louis is coming in with an overall money line of +418 and an impressive record of 2-1 as the dog. St. Louis's pitching staff has set the standard for its league, with an NL-low 2.40 ERA on the road. When it comes to preventing batters from getting on base, the Cardinals are one of 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 9.8 strikeouts per road game.
The Nationals have the edge in the season series, 1-0. The Nationals have a 4-6 record against right-handed starting pitchers on the year, which is what they'll be facing when Lackey takes the mound. Fister (RHP) will be on the hill against the Cardinals, who have a 7-3 record against right-handed starting pitchers.
Predictions: SU Winner - STL, O/U - Over
The Cardinals lost their last game by a one-run margin. In games decided by one run, the Nationals are 3-2. The Cardinals are 1-3 in close games this season.
When leading after 7 innings, St. Louis is 3-2, while Washington is 4-6.
The Nationals managed to give up four walks in their last game. They'll have to pick it up against the Cardinals who are coming in with a 2-2 record against opponents who give up that many walks or more.
When they are outhit, the Nationals are 1-6. The Cardinals have a 2-0 record when opponents outhit them.
Ranking 29th in home runs, St. Louis has hit six this season. Washington ranks eighth with 15 home runs.
Ranking 11th, Washington is in the top half of the league in hits, notching 7.62 per game. St. Louis ranks in the top five at fifth with 8.36.
Ranking 17th, Washington is in the bottom half of the league for its on-base plus slugging percentage (.681). St. Louis ranks in the top half at 15th with an OPS of .689.
When the Cardinals allow at least one home run, they are 4-2. When the Nationals allow one or more homers, they have a 2-2 record.