A Closer Look at the St. Louis at Washington MLB Pick & Betting Prediction

Posted by Michael Hunt on Monday,April 10, 2017 3:49, EDT in

Terrific series early this week from the nation’s capital as the St. Louis Cardinals visit the Washington Nationals. Wouldn’t surprise me in the least if these two met in the playoffs this October, although it will probably have to be via the wild card for the Cardinals as they play in the same division as the Cubs. Washington will be an MLB betting favorite here.

St. Louis at Washington MLB Betting Pick, Preview & TV Info

When: Tuesday, April 11, 7 PM ET
Where: Nationals Park, Washington, D.C.
Probable pitchers (away/home): Lance Lynn/Gio Gonzalez
TV: ESPN
StreamMLB.tv
Radio: Washington / St. Louis
Opening MLB Lines: TBA

Why Bet On St. Louis?

Will the Cards have outfielder Stephen Piscotty for this one? He remained out of the Cardinals’ lineup Sunday. Piscotty banged his knee on a slide Friday and now missed two straight starts. He’s day-to- day. Is it time for the team to worry about closer Seung Hwan Oh? He allowed a home run to Joey Votto in the Cardinals’s loss to the Reds on Sunday. Oh also walked Adam Duvall and gave up a single to Eugenio Suarez, but those came after Votto’s solo blast that put Cincinnati up 8-0. This was just the second appearance of the season for Oh, who blew a save on Opening Night against the Cubs. He holds a 13.50 ERA through 2 2/3 innings in 2017, after registering a 1.92 ERA across 79 2/3 innings in 2016.

St. Louis should get back former closer Trevor Rosenthal for this series as he was on track to be activated from the disabled list as soon as Monday. That’s assuming he recovers well from his simulated game Saturday. Rosenthal began the season on the DL with a strained right lat but it appears he’ll return without going on a rehab assignment first. The Cardinals have discussed using the former closer in a multi-inning role, but he could also fill a traditional setup role.

After a 17-month layoff, Lance Lynn, who starts here, made his return from Tommy John surgery with a 5 1/3-inning no decision vs. the Cubs last week. He will continue to rely heavily on the fastball but also hopes a refined changeup can help him versus left-handers. According to Statcast™, Lynn threw 12 changeups in his 98-pitch outing. For reference, just 1.9 percent of the pitches he threw in 2015 were changeups. His highest season percentage came back in ’12, when Lynn threw 6.9 percent changeups.

“He’s going to make people think a little more," Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said. “In the big situations, he wasn’t afraid to throw his changeup. He threw a couple slow breaking balls too, but again, was smart when he did it. When he needed to place his fastball, he was putting it where he needed to. He had good movement.”

Why Bet On Washington?

The Nationals have a bullpen problem of their own. Koda Glover gave up a walkoff RBI single to Cesar Hernandez in the Nationals’ loss to the Phillies on Sunday. Washington tied the game with three runs in the top of the ninth, but Glover couldn’t get it to extras. He issued a leadoff walk to Daniel Nava, a one-out single to Freddy Galvis, and then with two outs Hernandez punched a ball into left field to end the affair. Glover was in the running for saves near the end of spring training and closer Blake Treinen has struggled in the early going for Washington.

The team has re-signed RHP Joe Nathan to a minor league contract given the struggles from the bullpen. He registered a 3.86 ERA while punching out nine batters in 11 2/3 innings during Grapefruit League play. The 42-year- old hurler will report to Triple-A Syracuse.

The Nats go with lefty Gio Gonzalez here. Gonzalez spun six shutout innings last Thursday, allowing seven hits and a walk while striking out seven, but came away with a no-decision in a 4-3, extra-innings loss to the Marlins. The veteran lefty threw 57 of 90 pitches for strikes but came up with a big pitch every time he needed it, keeping Miami hitters off-balance for six frames until a rain delay ended his outing. He struck out seven in six shutout innings, and stayed efficient and in command of the strike zone, recording only one intentional walk.

The Nationals’ bullpen spoiled Gonzalez’s gem, immediately surrendering a two-run lead in the eighth inning. Despite the no-decision, it was a positive sign for the southpaw after he finished last year with a full-season- worst 4.57 ERA. Gonzalez allowed six runs over 4.2 innings in his lone start vs. St. Louis a year ago.

St. Louis at Washington Betting Pick: Washington Nationals

I like the Nats simply as they are at home. Go under the total with both pitchers looking solid in their debuts.