Nationals vs. Cardinals Odds & Picks: St. Louis Should Feast On Monday Night
Jeff Curry/Getty Images. Pictured: Nolan Arenado
- The Nationals have struggled this season amid a COVID-19 outbreak in the organization.
- The Cardinals are coming off a disappointing weekend against the division rival Brewers.
- Who has the edge on Monday? MLB betting analyst D.J. James breaks it down below.
Nationals vs. Cardinals Odds
|Time||7:45 p.m. ET|
|Odds as of Sunday evening and via FanDuel.|
The last series for both the St. Louis Cardinals and the Washington Nationals can be deemed forgettable. The Cardinals squandered two of three against the Brewers, while the Nationals spent the weekend losing in Los Angeles.
These two meet in a battle of back-end starters and stretch relievers, so who has the advantage?
The Nationals still have a strong rotation, but their bullpen and lineups haven’t quite gotten it going yet as the team still has a few key pieces sidelined following a COVID-19 outbreak in the organization.
Washington struggled mightily against the behemoth Dodgers. The Nats scored just five runs in three games and were shut out time — yes, that means all five of those runs came in one game. Yes, the Dodgers are the Dodgers, but are the issues we saw out of Washington over the weekend just that, or a sign of some log-term concerns?
The Nationals have a 4.33 bullpen xFIP, which is about league average early on in the season. Brad Hand, Tanner Rainey and Daniel Hudson can lock down the back of the bullpen, but starting pitcher Erick Fedde may struggle with the Cardinals’ lineup early.
Specifically, Fedde pitches to contact to a pretty significant degree. He only struck out 12.6% of batters in 2020 and yielded nine baserunners in 1 2/3 innings against the Braves in his first outing of 2021.
St. Louis Cardinals
John Gant has been a relatively reliable option out of the bullpen over the last few seasons. The Cardinals put him in their rotation to start the season, and given that this will only be his second start after two years of strictly relief pitching, do not expect him to go deep in this one, as he went four innings and threw 82 pitches in his debut.
Gant registered an adjusted slugging percentage against of .325 in his last full season in 2019. This put him in the top 8% of the league, according to Statcast. Given the Nationals’ lineup and the issues they have experienced early on, Gant should have some success, even if his innings are limited. In a small sample size, the Nationals only sport a .194 average versus right-handed pitching this season.
Fedde allows a similar OBP while facing both lefties and righties, so he does not have much of an advantage when it comes to this Cardinals lineup from either side. Nolan Arenado should be able to feast on the soft-tossing righty.
Given how stretched this Washington roster is at the moment, they will not be able to overcome the Cardinals. Their current roster construction hinders them on plenty of fronts, especially with their lineup.
Gant should be able to shut down the Nationals for however long he goes. So long as he can avoid Juan Soto doing his thing against him, he should do enough to hold things at bay while the St. Louis offense goes to work against Fedde. I would take the Cardinals moneyline at -138 and up to -148.
Pick: Cardinals -138 (Play to -148)