St. Louis Cardinals vs. Washington Nationals: NLDS Game 3 Preview and Predictions

The St. Louis Cardinals (1-1) and Washington Nationals (1-1) will continue their National League Division Series on Wednesday afternoon at Nationals Park, with the first pitch scheduled for 1:07 ET on the MLB Network

St. Louis Cardinals vs. Washington Nationals 

St. Louis Cardinals OF Carlos Beltran is known as a clutch performer in the postseason

St. Louis won’t be intimidated by today’s atmosphere in the nation’s capital, as it evened up this best-of-five series with a resounding 12-4 win in Game 2 on Sunday.  “We know this offense has the potential to do this,” commented Cardinals first-year manager Mike Matheny. The Cardinals are a combined 24-11 in Division Series games, which includes an 11-6 mark on the road.  Outfielder Carlos Beltran makes the lineup dangerous, as he came into October with 11 home runs in 22 postseason games.  St. Louis is 8-11 as a road underdog of +100 to +125, with the UNDER going 10-8 in that situation.

Cardinals starting pitcher Chris Carpenter (0-2, 3.71 ERA) threw only 17 combined innings in three starts this year, as the offense provided him just five runs of support in those contests.  The right-hander has been known to rise to the occasion, going 4-0 during the 2011 playoffs, which made him the franchise’s all-time leader in postseason wins.  In 12 career starts versus the Nationals, Carpenter has compiled a 6-1 record and 3.39 ERA, but didn’t earn a decision in his lone effort inside this ballpark.

Washington is a confident group after splitting two games in St. Louis, as it finished the regular season with a 50-31 record at home, which tied with five other teams for the second-best mark in baseball.  The Nationals actually won 10 of their 15 three-game series when playing inside this venue.  “We love the pitching staff we have,” commented Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo.  Washington is 15-8 at home with a money line of -100 to -125, but went 5-8 when playing after a day off this year.

Nationals starting pitcher Edwin Jackson (10-11, 4.03 ERA) earned a 5-1 home victory over the Philadelphia Phillies in his last regular season start, allowing one run and six hits over 6.2 innings of work.  The right-hander went 6-6 with a 3.35 ERA in 15 home starts this year, with opposing hitters batting .231 against him.  In seven career games versus the Cardinals, Jackson has tallied a 1-3 record and 4.58 ERA, including a 12-2 road loss on Sept. 28.  He has gone 1-1 with a 4.91 ERA in his postseason career.

Sports bettors will likely back the Nationals due to their 8-1 record in the last nine meetings in this series at home, while the Cardinals are 16-21 versus NL East opponents.

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