Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#1941 St. Louis Cardinals vs.
#1942 Washington Nationals
Wednesday, April 21, 2021 at 4:05pm EDT
Written by Chris Kubala

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A pair of National League teams close out an early week set in the nation’s capital on the diamond. The St. Louis Cardinals are on the road as they play the final game of a three-game set with the Washington Nationals Wednesday afternoon. In the opening game of the series Monday night, it was the Cardinals smacking around Nationals’ pitching en route to a 12-5 victory, setting themselves up for a series win regardless of Tuesday’s outcome. In the middle game of the series Tuesday night, the Cardinals sent Adam Wainwright to the mound against the Nationals’ Patrick Corbin. First pitch from Nationals Park was slated for 7:05 pm ET.

St. Louis Cardinals Looking to Leave Town With Series Win

St. Louis had dropped five of their previous seven but rode the power game to a victory in the series opener Monday night. The Cardinals entered Tuesday third in the NL Central, 1.5 games behind the Reds for the top spot in the division. Paul Goldschmidt (two runs, two RBI) had three hits while Tommy Edman (run, two RBI), Paul DeJong (three runs, five RBI) and Justin Williams (two runs, RBI) each added two. DeJong (his fourth and fifth of the year) homered twice while Edman (his second), Goldschmidt (his second) and Williams (his second) each went deep as well. Jack Flaherty (3-0) earned the win as he threw six innings, allowing five runs (two earned) on six hits with two walks and five strikeouts.

Carlos Martinez is on the mound for his fourth start of the season for the Cardinals in this one as he searches for his first win as a starter since 2018. He is 0-3 with a 7.80 ERA, a 1.40 WHIP, four walks and 10 strikeouts over 15 innings of work this season. Martinez took the loss in his last start, which came on the road against the Phillies Friday night. He threw five innings, allowing six runs on five hits with two walks and five strikeouts in a 9-2 Cardinals defeat. Martinez makes his 11th career appearance and third start against the Nationals in this contest. He is 0-2 with three saves, a 5.40 ERA, a 1.40 WHIP, six walks and 18 strikeouts over 20 innings of work. Martinez has no record, one save, a 5.06 ERA, a 1.875 WHIP, two walks and six strikeouts over 5.1 innings in four career appearances, all in relief, at Nationals Park.

Washington Nationals Trying to Get Going in Positive Direction

Washington was clobbered in the opening game of this three-game set Monday night for their second straight defeat. The Nationals entered Tuesday in the basement of the NL East race, 3.5 games behind the Mets for the top spot. On Monday, Washington finished with seven hits in the game with no player recording more than one. Starlin Castro drove in a pair of runs despite not having a hit and the lack of power doomed Washington as they were outhomered 5-0 in the game. Joe Ross (1-1) took the loss on the mound as he allowed 10 runs on eight hits with three walks and five strikeouts over 4.1 innings of work.

Max Scherzer is on the hill for his fourth start of the season for the Nationals in this contest. He comes in 0-1 with a 2.37 ERA, a 0.684 WHIP, three walks and 24 strikeouts over 19 innings of work on the year. Scherzer didn’t factor in the decision in his last start, which came at home Friday night against the Nationals. He threw seven scoreless frames, allowing two hits with two walks and 10 strikeouts in a game Washington won 1-0 in walk-off fashion. Scherzer logs his 12th career start against the Cardinals in this contest. He is 2-6 with a 3.31 ERA, a 1.075 WHIP, 15 walks and 86 strikeouts over 70.1 innings of work. Scherzer is 35-24 with a 3.04 ERA, a 0.986 WHIP, 134 walks and 777 strikeouts over 585.1 innings in 89 career starts at Nationals Park.

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St. Louis won the opening game of the series but the fact remains that they have an uphill climb in this one. Martinez has struggled out of the gate this season, mixing moments of his old dominant self with periods where you wonder if he can handle being a starting pitcher anymore. Scherzer has pitched very well in his three starts this season though the fact remains that he has no wins coming into this contest. He has had his issues with the Cardinals in his career but he’s still one of the most dominant pitchers in the majors. Scherzer is due for a victory and the bats break out to support him here as the Nationals win on getaway day.

Prediction: Washington Nationals -1.5 (+111)

Full-Game Total Pick

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St. Louis has seen the over post a 9-6-1 mark in their games this season. The Cardinals are an impressive fifth in runs per game as they put up 5.19 runs per game, a number that climbs to 5.60 runs per contest on the road. St. Louis has struggled with slowing the opposition as they are tied for 25th in run prevention by giving up 5.19 runs per contest, including five runs a game on the road. That gives them an average total of 10.38 runs per game. Washington has seen the under hit in eight of their 14 contests entering Tuesday. The Nationals stand just 25th in the majors with an average of 3.64 runs per contest on the year. Washington is a dismal 29th in run prevention by allowing 5.21 runs a night, including 5.50 runs per game at home on the season. That gives them an average total of 8.85 runs per night. With Scherzer on the mound, he keeps the Cardinals in check and that helps this one settle just under the number.

Prediction: Under 8.5
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Written By Chris Kubala , "Chris Kubala"

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