St. Louis Cardinals (76-60) at Washington Nationals (68-68)
|Date & Time||Monday September 3, 2018, 1:05 PM (EDT)|
The Line: Washington Nationals -170 / St. Louis Cardinals +150 --- Over/Under: 7.5
ESPN, FS-Midwest, NESN
The St. Louis Cardinals and the Washington Nationals meet in game one of a three game set from Nationals Park in MLB action on Monday.
The St. Louis Cardinals will look to bounce back after dropping the rubber match of their series with the Cincinnati Reds following a 6-4 loss in the series finale on Sunday. Harrison Bader and Greg Garcia each had two RBIs and two hits with Bader adding a double. Yairo Munoz added a pinch-hit double while Yadier Molina, Francisco Pena, Jose Martinez and Paul DeJong each had a base hit in the losing effort. Luke Weaver gave up two runs on three hits while walking five and striking out four over four innings of work, not factoring in the decision. Bud Norris took the loss, falling to 3-4 this season. Jack Flaherty will start game one and is 8-6 with a 2.87 ERA and 149 strikeouts this season. This will be Flaherty’s first career start against Washington.
The Washington Nationals will also be looking to rebound after dropping the series finale of their set with Milwaukee by a final score of 9-4 on Sunday. Mark Reynolds led the Nats by going 2 for 4 with a pair of RBIs, while Wilmer Difo added a solo homer and Juan Soto also went 2 for 4 with an RBI to round out Washington’s scoring in the loss. Andrew Stevenson, Bryce Harper, Trea Turner and Adam Eaton each contributed a base hit in the losing effort for Washington. Jefry Rodriguez took the loss, falling to 2-2 this season after allowing seven runs on seven hits while walking seven over 4.2 innings of work. Max Scherzer will start game one and is 16-6 with a 2.22 ERA and 249 strikeouts this season. In his career, Scherzer is 2-4 with a 2.70 ERA and 56 strikeouts against St. Louis.
St. Louis is 10-1 in their last 11 road games and 20-7 in their last 27 games overall while the under is 4-1 in Flaherty’s last 5 starts overall. Washington is 20-8 in Scherzer’s last 28 home starts and 2-5 in their last 7 games against the NL Central while the over is 7-2-1 in their last 10 home games. St. Louis is 6-2 in the last 8 meetings between these two teams.
It’s not often that it’s tempting to lay juice, but you rarely get Scherzer at this kind of price, and anything below -200 is usually a steal. However, while Scherzer may be the more name recognized and more established hurler, the Cardinals are the better team and have been for the last month and a half. Flaherty also has been nothing to sneeze at, going 4-0 in his last five starts, allowing just four runs over 32 innings for a 1.13 ERA over that span. I’m not saying the Cards chase Scherzer, but if Flaherty can hang with the Nationals’ ace, which I think he can, then the plus money is worth taking a chance on on Monday and that’s exactly what I’ll do.