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Bryan Power

Bryan Power

(951) St. Louis Cardinals at (952) Washington Nationals

(951) St. Louis Cardinals at (952) Washington Nationals
July 7, 2024 1PM EDT
Play Rating:
3% – Washington Nationals +109 K Gibson (RHP), D Herz (LHP) Must Start

3% Washington (1:35 ET): I generally don’t need much convincing to fade this fraudulent Cardinals team, which has managed to stay above .500 despite having the third worst run differential in the entire National League (currently -44). No team in all of baseball has a wider positive gap between actual (46) and expected (39) wins than do the Redbirds. They’re fortunate not to be in a position where they’re facing a potential sweep (this series ends Monday) as they rallied from an early 5-0 deficit to win 7-6 in extras on Friday. Falling behind 9-0 on Saturday was too big of a gap to make up, however. Turns out that oddsmakers knew what they were doing by installing the Nationals as ML favorites yesterday. 

I think there’s a good argument that the Nats should be favored again on Sunday. This team has been playing better of late. Note while they’re only 3-3 over the L6 games, all three losses came in extra innings after blowing a lead of 2+ runs. The improved play from the Nationals coincides with the call-up of top prospect James Wood, who hit his first big league HR yesterday. Wood is now batting .304 and has reached base safely in all six games. 

Another reason I believe the Nats should be favored here is the starting pitching matchup. Kyle Gibson goes for St. Louis. The veteran has given up 4 runs in B2B starts and is 1-3 all-time vs. Washington with a poor 8.31 ERA and 1.57 WHIP. Those recent struggles come on the heels of being scratched from a start against Miami on 6/18 (back), so there could be some larger issues at play. Meanwhile, Nationals’ rookie DJ Herz is coming off an outing where he had 10 strikeouts and no walks. Over his L2 starts here at home, Herz has 23 strikeouts, 0 walks and just 1 run allowed in 11 ⅔ IP. I’ll take what I believe to be the better team with the better starting pitcher at a plus price. 3% Washington (Play to -110) 

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