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|Team||Run Spread||Money Line||Total|
|St. Louis Cardinals||+1.5 (-152)
|O 8 (-115)
|Washington Nationals||-1.5 (+128)
|U 8 (-106)
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St. Louis has been up and down all season while the Nationals have never really been able to get going after their awful start. Washington has the pitching matchup without question in this game, but the Cardinals offense has enough talent to neutralize that. Still, we like Scherzer.
Garcia’s 2021 record: (13-6)
|St. Louis Cardinals vs Washington Nationals Information|
|What||St. Louis Cardinals vs Washington Nationals|
|Where||Nationals Park, Washington, DC|
|When||Wednesday, April 21, 4:05 p.m. EST|
|How to Watch||Bally Sports Midwest, MLB.TV|
Year-in and year-out, if things have been going badly for the Nationals, they’ve been able to turn to Scherzer to get them back to their winning ways. Even though his record doesn’t indicate that, it’s pretty much been the case this season. In 12 games not started by Scherzer, Washington is 4-8. In the three games he has started, the Nats are 2-1.
Scherzer has gotten better with each start, giving up four runs in six innings in his first, giving up one run in six innings in his second and throwing seven shutout innings in a win against Arizona last week. The three-time Cy Young Award winner has a 2.37 ERA, 0.67 WHIP and has 24 strikeouts compared to just three walks through 19 total innings.
He passed Cy Young on the all-time strikeout list last week, that’s how dominant the future Hall-of-Famer has been. He might not quite be in his prime anymore, but he’s still a take-over pitcher and one of the 10 best in the game. That’s always a great place to start when desperate for a win.
It feels like it’s been a little bit of all of it or none of it for the Cardinals this season. In their past eight games, St. Louis has either scored nine runs or more (three times) or three runs or fewer (eight times). There is no in-between.
The Cardinals are winning games the same way they’ve done it for the better part of two decades — timely pitching and a lineup that can beat you top to bottom. Four different people lead the team in a major offensive category. The ageless Yadier Molina paces the team in average (.308) and RBI (12), Paul DeJong leads the way with home runs (5), Dylan Carlson has the team’s best OBP (.377) and Tommy Edman has the most hits (20).
They’ve scored the fourth-most runs of any team in baseball but the problem is going into last night, they also were tied for the most runs allowed in the majors. That’s been true with Carlos Martinez on the mound all year. The righty is 0-3 with a 7.70 ERA. He’s gone exactly five innings in each of his starts, giving up 13 earned runs in those 15 innings. There’s been a lot of traffic on the bases, too, with a 1.40 WHIP and he’s struck out just 10 batters while he walked four.
This continues his bad stretch that goes back to 2020 — he was 0-3 in five starts. But in the five years prior to that, he was dominant, never having an ERA above 3.65. The pressure is on Martinez in this one.
The Nationals have two of the most talented hitters in the game in their lineup — Trea Turner and Juan Soto. Their combination of extra-base power and speed — especially Soto who is on the shortlist of best players in baseball and he’s still just 22 — makes them two to watch every single game but we’re looking elsewhere in this one.
Starlin Castro has quietly been good for Washington, pacing them with a team-high 12 RBI. He’s also hitting .283 but the problem is his OBP is only .286 — he has just one walk this year. He has two doubles and three RBI in the last four games, so he’s seeing the ball pretty well.
On the other side, it’s Nolan Arenado. After getting off to a torrid start, he’s in the middle of a brutal skid. Arenado is now hitting just .266 with a .319 OBP and obviously, the year is young, but both marks would be the worst of his career. He’s just 4 of his last 24 with just one home run and two RBI. If he gets going, don’t be surprised if St. Louis gets hot.
Tony writes about baseball for WSN.com after recently graduating with his Masters from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University. Prior to that, Tony was a local sports reporter for MLive Media Group, based out of Jackson, Michigan where he covered everything from high school to professional sports. He graduated from Michigan State in 2015 with a degree in journalism. During his time there he covered the Michigan State football and men’s basketball teams from 2013-15 and hosted a sports radio show on WDBM 89FM.More info on Tony Garcia
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