Washington Nationals vs. St. Louis Cardinals Pick 9/16/19
Washington Nationals (82-66) vs. St. Louis Cardinals (83-66), 9/16/19
Time: 7:45 pm ET Monday, Sept. 16
Where: Busch Stadium, St. Louis, MO
Listed Pitchers: Stephen Strasburg (17-6, 3.49 ERA, 1.05 WHIP) vs. Dakota Hudson (15-7, 3.38, 1.41)
TV: MLB, MASN, FS Midwest
Moneyline: Nationals -140/Cardinals +130
National League playoff hopefuls clash when the Cardinals and Nationals open a three-game series in St. Louis starting Monday night. But neither team is playing great ball as of late. Who do we like here for our free MLB pick?
MLB Betting Odds
Monday’s MLB betting odds opened Washington and Strasburg at around -125 over St. Louis and Hudson, with an over/under of eight runs. Early betting action then bumped the Nationals to -140.
Nationals vs. Cardinals Set-Up
Washington just lost two of three games at home to Atlanta over the weekend, avoiding the sweep with a 7-0 victory Sunday. Just before that the Nationals took two of three games at Minnesota, but just before that they lost three of four to the Braves. Going back a bit further Washington is just 4-7 over its last 11 games.
At 82-66 overall the Nationals are not going to catch first-place Atlanta in the NL East, but they lead the National League wild-card race by a game and a half over the second-place Cubs and 2.5 games over third-place Milwaukee.
St. Louis, meanwhile, just lost two of three games at home to the Brewers over the weekend, losing Sunday’s series rubber match 7-6. The Cardinals led Sunday’s game into the top of the ninth inning, but Ryan Braun hit a two-out, two-strike grand slam to send St. Louis to defeat.
Just before that, the Cardinals lost two of three at Colorado, so St. Louis is just 2-4 over its last six games.
At 83-66 overall the Cardinals lead the NL Central by two games over the second-place Cubbies.
This series is the second meeting between these teams this season; back at the end of April/start of May St. Louis took three of four games from the Nats in DC.
Monday’s Starting ArmsThis pitching match-up is a rematch of a game played back on May 2 in Washington, a 2-1 Nationals victory. Hudson, by our strict standards, is 13/29 on quality starts this season and five for his last six. Last Wednesday he limited Colorado to two runs and four hits through six innings, although he also walked five, in a St. Louis 3-1 loss. And over his last six starts, he’s allowed just six runs and 16 hits through 38 1/3 innings. On the season the Cardinals are 20-9 with Hudson, 6-1 over his last seven starts. In his only career start vs. Washington, that game back in May, Hudson allowed two runs – one earned – and four hits through six innings. Strasburg is 18/30 on quality starts this year and four for his last five. Last Wednesday he held Minnesota to two runs and four hits through six innings of a 6-2 Nationals victory. And over his last five starts, he’s allowed just seven runs and 19 hits through 33 innings, with 44 strikeouts. Washington is 19-11 with Strasburg this year, 3-1 over his last four starts. In that game against St. Louis back in May Strasburg allowed just one run and six hits, with nine whiffs, through 6 2/3 innings.
Monday’s Batting Splits
Washington is batting .256/.334/.447 against right-handed pitching this season. St. Louis is batting .247/.321/.412 against RH pitching this season.
The BullpensThe Nationals bullpen owns an ML-worst 5.89 ERA this season and a 1.53 WHIP while allowing an .819 OPS, second-highest in the Bigs. Numbers like those are why we rank this unit among the worst two or three bullpens in Baseball. The Cardinals pen owns a 3.75 ERA and a 1.20 WHIP while holding opponents to a ML-low .660 OPS. Numbers like those are why we rank this unit among the top two or three bullpens in MLB.
- Unders are 71-69 in Nationals games this season.
- Unders are 80-62 in Cardinals games this season.
- Unders are 43-30 in games played at Busch Stadium this season.
- Unders are 3-1 Nats-Cards games this season.
Free MLB PickWe’re calling Monday’s pitching match-up a wash because Hudson’s been great as of late. Meanwhile, Washington might own a short edge with the sticks, but despite what happened Sunday, St. Louis holds a significant advantage in the bullpen comparison. Plus the Cardinals are 8-3 this season as home dogs. We’re siding with St. Louis for our free MLB pick for Monday.
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