NLCS Game 4
St. Louis Cardinals at Washington Nationals
First pitch: 5:05 p.m. ET
Probable pitchers: Dakota Hudson (16-7, 3.35 ERA) vs. Patrick Corbin (14-7, 3.25 ERA)
Different venue, same result last night for the Cardinals offense, which remained very quiet just like in St. Louis for the first two games of this NLCS.
The Cards have done zilch at the plate, totaling a mere two runs in the three contests. Washington has received absolutely incredible work from its starting pitchers, collectively yielding just a single run across 21.2 innings (the real kicker is that it wasn’t even an earned run).
Basically, this over/under revolves around whether or not a talented NL Central-winning team will go down without a whimper or finally generate at least a little bit of scoring. Tonight’s Game 4 presents a change of pace of sorts, so I’m betting on the latter to be a contributing factor.
With Corbin going tonight, St. Louis will get to face a left-handed starter for the first time in the series. It can be something as simple as that when struggling like they have, that can get an opposing lineup going.
And while the Cardinals were actually better against righties than lefties this season, they’ve actually fared notably well with a southpaw on the hill in the playoffs thus far. In fact, their desirable .810 OPS in that department is the second-highest of all 10 teams in the postseason.
Sure, it’s a much tinier sample size compared to the regular season but it does represent a considerable improvement upon the .247/.330/.425 slash line they registered off lefties prior to October.
The Redbirds will probably need some sort of outburst, as I don’t envision Hudson continuing the string of quality starting pitching the team has gotten through the first three games — especially while this Nats offense continues to produce.
In six of nine postseason games, the Nationals scored at least four runs. It seems more likely than not that they can at least reach that plateau once more in this one.
Hudson is not a strikeout guy by any means but what will hurt him more than anything in this particular matchup is his tendency to issue free passes. In fact, no pitcher walked more batters in 2019 than the second-year right-hander. Well, Washington’s .342 on-base percentage led the league this season.
Also, don’t underestimate the time off Hudson has received as something that can throw him off. This will be just the youngster’s second start in 18 days. Play: OVER 7.5 (-120)
Yesterday’s Result: Cardinals-Nationals Under 7 (“loss”)
2019 MLB Over/Under Betting Record*
Regular Season: 89-78-12, +1.05 units
Playoffs: 9-4-1, +2.2 units
*Each bet graded as if it were to win 1 unit (playoffs 0.5 unit)