The St. Louis Cardinals (72-61) and Washington Nationals (80-52) will close out an important National League series on Sunday afternoon at Nationals Park, with the first pitch scheduled for 1:35 ET
St. Louis Cardinals at Washington Nationals
St. Louis put an end to its four-game losing streak by coming away with a 10-9 victory over Washington on Saturday, which also served as the club’s first win inside this ballpark in its last eight tries. “I don’t know if you can show more life than what they showed today,” commented Cardinals manager Mike Matheny. It was a much-needed effort due to being outscored by a lopsided 32-1 margin in those previous four contests. St. Louis is 6-5 as a road underdog of +150 to +175, while the “over” is 7-4 in that situation.
Cardinals starting pitcher Jake Westbrook (13-10, 3.94 ERA) has alternated wins and losses over his last four outings, coming off a 9-0 road setback to the Pittsburgh Pirates, allowing seven runs and 11 hits over five frames. The right-hander is 5-6 with a 3.92 ERA in 12 road outings, issuing 28 walks and striking out 46 batters in 78 frames. In three career games versus the Nationals, Westbrook has tallied a 1-2 record and 6.23 ERA, with opposing hitters batting .309 against him.
Washington had its three-game win streak snapped after blowing an early 4-0 lead, but the team is still in position of securing its first playoff berth since 1981 when the franchise was located in Montreal. The Nationals hold a 6.5-game lead in the NL East standings, but nobody in the clubhouse is taking that for granted. “We’re in it until that last ball comes down,” stated Nationals manager Davey Johnson. Washington is 9-4 as a home favorite of -150 to -200, with the “over” going 8-4 in those games.
Nationals starting pitcher Stephen Strasburg (15-6, 3.05 ERA) has won four of his last five starts, but suffered a 9-0 road loss to the Miami Marlins last time out, giving up seven runs (five earned) and nine hits over five frames. The right-hander is 6-3 with a 3.29 ERA in 12 home outings, surrendering nine home runs in 68.1 combined innings. Strasburg will be facing the Cardinals for the first time in his career.
Sports bettors will likely play the total in this contest, with the UNDER going 9-4 in Westbrook’s last 13 road starts with a total of 7 to 8.5