Joe Ross (3-4, 2.70 ERA) gets the ball for the Washington Nationals (28-19) as they go up against Mike Leake (3-3, 4.07 ERA) and the St. Louis Cardinals (24-23) in the first of a four-game series at Nationals Park. The game starts at 7:05 p.m. ET on Thursday, May. 26 and will air on MASN and FSMW.

In his most recent outing, Ross pitched 5.2 innings, giving up three runs (one unearned), striking out seven and walking two in a 3-2 loss to the Marlins. Daniel Murphy (.394, 26 Rs, 7 HRs, 30 RBIs, 1 SB) played well again yesterday, going 2 for 4. The Cardinals were victorious over the Diamondbacks 6-2 the last time Leake pitched. He went 7.0 innings, allowing zero runs and striking out three. Matt Adams (.316, 15 Rs, 6 HRs, 21 RBIs) has been doing well offensively for the Cardinals, going 3 for 5 yesterday with two runs, one home run, and two RBIs.

Oddsmakers have deemed this game a Nationals -125 matchup and the Over/Under (O/U) is 8 at the moment.

The previous three games have all gone Washington's way.

Predictions: SU Winner - STL

Notes

The Cardinals lost their last game by a one-run margin. In games decided by one run, the Nationals are 6-6. The Cardinals are 3-6 in close games this season.

When leading after seven innings, Washington is 12-7, while St. Louis is 15-11.

The Cardinals managed to give up six walks in their last game. They'll have to pick it up against the Nationals who are heading in with a 4-4 record against opponents who give up that many walks or more.

When they outhit their opponents, the Nationals are 22-5. The Cardinals have a 20-4 record when outhitting opponents.

Ranking 13th, Washington is in the top half of the league in runs, scoring 199 this season. St. Louis ranks in the top five at second with 258.

Ranking seventh, St. Louis is in the top 10 of the league in walks, notching 166 this season. Washington ranks in the top five at fourth with 180.

The Nationals are 21-8 in games where they hit one or more home runs. The Cardinals are 19-13 when they hit at least one homer.