The Washington Nationals will host the St. Louis Cardinals on Monday in the first game of a three-game series. The Nationals took two out of three games from April 12-14 against the Cardinals in St. Louis just last week.
The St. Louis Cardinals are 7-9 on the season after losing their last two games to Philadelphia, including a 2-0 loss on Saturday afternoon. The Nationals are 5-8 this year and had their two-game winning streak snapped with a 5-2 loss to Arizona on Sunday.
Yadier Molina keeps adding to his legacyThe Cardinals have lost six of their last eight games after being shut out against Philadelphia on Sunday as a +166 money line road underdog. The Cardinals only managed to collect two hits and no walks against Phillies starter Aaron Nola who threw a complete game and struck out 10 St. Louis batters. John Grant took the loss for the Cardinals, allowing two earned runs in five innings. Veteran catcher Yadier Molina had one of the Cardinals' two hits on Sunday. Molina has been the teams' offensive MVP thus far, batting .340, with four homers and 12 RBI. Nolan Arnedo, who was acquired from the Colorado Rockies in the offseason, went 0 for 4 on Sunday but is still off to a strong start batting. 271 with four hours homes and 10 RBI.
FINAL: Phillies 2, Cardinals 0 pic.twitter.com/BIF5xAOYsD— St. Louis Cardinals (@Cardinals) April 18, 2021
Jack Flaherty is scheduled to make his fourth start of the season on Monday. Flaherty is 2-0 with a 4.11 ERA and 1.04 WHIP after facing the Reds, Marlins, and Nationals so far this season. Flaherty faced the Nationals last Tuesday, and allowed one earned run in five innings, and took the win in a 14-3 victory. Flaherty has made two starts against the Nationals in his career and is 1-0 with a 1.80 ERA.
Turner's homeruns not enough for Nats on SundayThe Nationals saw their two-game winning streak come to an end on Sunday, falling at home to the Diamondbacks 5-2 at home as -141 money line favorite. Both of the National's runs in the loss came on solo home runs from shortstop Trea Turner. Turner is now batting .308 on the season and leads the team with four homers and seven RBI.
Sometimes you're the nurpler, sometimes you're the nurplee.— Washington Nationals (@Nationals) April 18, 2021
FINAL // Nats 2, Dbacks 5 pic.twitter.com/QveNXQAD1G
The Nationals are 20th in MLB with a 4.41 team ERA. Scheduled to start on Monday is Joe Ross, who has not allowed a run yet this season. Ross pitched five shutout innings in a 1-0 Nationals loss against the Dodgers on April 9 and threw six shutout innings picking up the win in a 6-0 victory over St. Louis on Wednesday. Ross has made three career starts and appeared in six games against St. Louis and is 3-0 with a 2.86 ERA this contest. Ross did not pitch during the 2020 season.
Offensively, Washington is second in MLB with a .273 batting average but ranks 25th in MLB with 3.7 runs scored per game. Juan Soto leads the team with a .318 batting average, and Starlin Castros has a team-best nine RBI.
- Cardinals are 1-6 in their last 7 games against the Nationals
- Nationals are 21-5 in their last 26 vs. National League Central.
Best Bets for this Game
Full-Game Side Bet
The Nationals have dominated the National League Central and St. Louis Cardinals recently. Jack Flaherty will be starting for St. Louis, hoping to turn things around, but he has not pitched well on the road dating back to last season. In his last six road starts, Flaherty is 2-2 but has a 7.40 ERA. Joe Ross has looked great in this first two starts this season for Washington, which includes tossing five shutout innings against the Dodgers on the road. I will take Washington as a small favorite on Monday.
Full-Game Total Pick
Both projected starters have been solid this season and historically against the opposition they will face on Monday. Active St. Louis hitters are batting just .186 lifetime against Joe Ross with no home runs. Washington hitters are batting just .202 lifetime against Flaherty, and no current Nationals have homered against him more than once.
Flaherty only allowed one earned run against Washington when he faced them last week. Ross also faced the Cardinals last week and did not allow a run. Take the under in this one.