|St. Louis Cardinals||+1.5 (-200)||+120||Over 7 (+100)|
|Washington Nationals||-1.5 (+165)||-135||Under 7 (-120)|
After they seized the first two games of this series on the road, the Washington Nationals will attempt to take a commanding 3-0 lead in the National League Championship Series over the St. Louis Cardinals on Monday night.
Two of the senior circuit’s better starters this year—the Nationals’ Stephen Strasburg (18-6, 3.32 ERA) and the Cardinals’ Jack Flaherty (11-8, 2.75 ERA)—will do battle in our nation’s capital. Under bettors have cashed in the first two games of this series and are poised to do so once more.
The Cardinals piled 13 runs on the Braves in Game 5 of the NLDS, but since then, they’ve plated just one run in two games against Washington. This is not all that surprising, as St. Louis tallied just 764 runs and 210 home runs in the regular season, last in each category among teams that made the playoffs.
— Stephen Whyno (@SWhyno) October 14, 2019
“That’s kind of been the story of our season, really,” Cardinals first baseman Matt Carpenter told the New York Times after Game 2. “We’ve had stretches where we’ve struggled to score, and we’ve had stretches where we’ve just poured it on. Hopefully we can get one where we pour it on here in the next couple of days, get some confidence back and get some guys rolling.”
It seems unlikely that St. Louis will find its best stride against Strasburg, who has a postseason ERA of 1.32 (34 innings). Strasburg tossed three shutout innings in the must-win Wild Card game over the Brewers, then notched consecutive quality starts against the Dodgers in the NLDS. Strasburg has a 2.50 ERA in eight lifetime efforts against the Cardinals and allowed just three earned runs in 11 2/3 innings against them this season.
Flaherty, who had a sub-1.00 ERA after the All-Star break (15 starts), carried his momentum into the NLDS, where he tossed two quality starts against Atlanta, both on the road. He should hold up his end of the bargain Monday night.
Trends bettors should note that the Under is 7-1-1 in the nine meetings between these two clubs in 2019.