Cardinals vs. Nationals Betting Preview From

Written by:
Carrie Stroup
Published on:

Carrie Stroup here with your Cardinals vs. Nationals betting preview from our friends at Line: Washington -113, St. Louis +103, Total: 7

Two of the National League’s elite clubs, the St. Louis Cardinals and Washington Nationals, meet in the nation’s capitol this Tuesday night.

The Cardinals are having another solid start to a season and come into this game with wins in each of their past five games. In that time they have outscored opponents 21-6 while holding opposing offenses at two or fewer runs in each victory. They continued with their great play in a 2-1 win on Sunday which finished off a sweep of the Reds. St. Louis had just four hits in the win and took advantage of them with a solo homer off the bat of 3B Matt Carpenter and a double from OF Jon Jay; which led to a run-scoring sacrifice fly. Carpenter (.400) had a total of two hits in the game and added to his tremendous start to the campaign over the course of the Cincinnati series, going 6-for-12 with three runs, a homer and three RBIs and now has multiple hits in each of his last seven games.

The Nationals began the season as one of the favorites to win the World Series but haven’t exactly lived up to the expectations just yet with a loss in three of their first four series’. They have started to come around in the last week, though, as they finished off their series with Boston with a 10-5 win and proceeded to beat the Phillies three times in four contests. They scored 19 runs in the four contests and capped off the series win with a 4-1 win on Sunday where they tallied nine hits and were 3-for-10 with RISP. SS Ian Desmond (.314) has been the hottest hitter for this group and has a hit in each of his last six games, including going 9-for-19 with four runs and a double against the Reds.

The pitching matchup should be a good one as RHP Lance Lynn (1-1, 1.64 ERA) of the Cardinals goes up against LHP Gio Gonzalez (1-1, 5.11 ERA) of the host Nationals. St. Louis has absolutely destroyed Washington in the past two years, going 11-2 against them with each of the losses coming on the road (5-2). They won the last four contests against the Nationals, outscoring them 13-5 in that time as Washington failed to hit a ball out of the park.

Some trends to watch include that the Cardinals are 51-22 (.699) after six consecutive games against division rivals since the start of the 2013 season as the Nationals have gone 30-10 (.750) when playing with a day off in the same timeframe.

The injury report has OFs Randal Grichuk (Back) and Thomas Pham (Quadriceps) out for St. Louis as Washington has SS Yunel Escobar (Groin) day-to-day and 2B Anthony Rendon (Knee) still out.                                            

Lynn has been a tremendous contributor to this great rotation over the past few years and has tallied double-digit wins in each of the last five seasons, totaling a record of 73-47 (.608) in that time. He has always done a great job at keeping the ball in the park with a 0.66 HR/9 mark in his career as he has the ability to strike out a ton of batters. So far on the year he has shown impeccable control (1.6 BB/9) while striking out 13 batters in 11 innings and has not allowed a HR just yet.

Lynn has been great when meeting with Washington, going 3-0 with a 2.37 ERA (0.90 WHIP) and was nearly flawless (8 IP, 0 ER, 2 H, 8 K) in his last outing against them. He has had some issues against 2B Danny Espinosa in the past, as he is 3-for-8 with two HRs and four RBIs and is joined by the positive play of SS Ian Desmond (3-for-9, 1 double, 2 RBI). On the other hand, OFs Bryce Harper and Ryan Zimmerman have combined to go a meager 1-for-13 with a solo homer against him.

The bullpen for St. Louis has gone 1-1 with a 1.88 ERA (1.19 WHIP) and has successfully saved 6-of-7 contests. Trevor Rosenthal (1.59 ERA, 4 saves) has given up just two hits with eight strikeouts in 5.2 frames and is a perfect 4-for-4 in save chances.                                                                

Gonzalez has seen his performance decline in each of his first three seasons since joining the Nationals and was just 10-10 last year as he still performed well with his strikeouts (9.2 K/9) and homers allowed (0.57 HR/9). His 2015 campaign hasn’t started off too great with eight runs allowed (7 ER) in his first two starts (12.1 IP) as he has already walked six batters.

Gonzalez has done well in his meetings with the Cardinals, posting a 2-1 record (3-2 record) behind a 2.18 ERA (1.09 WHIP) and has given up a mere three runs on ten hits over his last two starts (14 IP). The St. Louis batters have not done well in their time against Gonzalez, combining to go a mere 20-for-102 (.196) as a team with 25 strikeouts, but OF Jon Jay (3-for-6) and C Yadier Molina (3-for-9, 2 doubles) are a few of the players who have actually done a solid job against the lefty. On the other hand, OF Jason Heyward (6-for-25, 1 double, 4 RBIs), SS Jhonny Peralta (3-for-16, 1 double, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 4 K) and 3B Matt Carpenter (1-for-6) have really struggled.

The relievers for Washington have combined to go 1-2 with a 2.27 ERA (1.12 WHIP) and are successful in just 4-of-8 save chances. Drew Storen (1.80 ERA, 4 saves) has been successful in his four save opportunities while owning a 5:2 K/BB ratio in five innings of work.   

- Carrie Stroup, Senior Reporter         

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