MLB Over/Under Bet: Dead bat Cards must wake up vs Strasburg

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NLCS Game 3

St. Louis Cardinals at Washington Nationals

Over/Under: 7

First pitch: 4:38 p.m. PT

TV: TBS

Probable pitchers: Jack Flaherty (11-8, 2.75 ERA) vs. Stephen Strasburg (18-6, 3.32 ERA)

The Cardinals couldn’t be in any worse position than they are right now. Even after entering the postseason as National League’s No. 3 seed, they miraculously managed home-field advantage in the NLCS, getting to square off with the Wild Card team.

However, this great fortune would be squandered right away, as the Cardinals managed to drop both games in St. Louis. Now, they must at least win two of three on the road or their year is kaput.

That means addressing the elephant in the room, that being their nightmarish performance at the plate. St. Louis was no-hit into at least the sixth inning in both encounters at home and managed to only come away with one run, four hits and three walks total.

To put this in perspective, they had less baserunners combined in the first two games of this series than runs scored in the first inning alone of their NLDS Game 5 conquest in Atlanta.

And now those same dead bats have to contend with peak Strasburg? Uh, the chances of St. Louis turning it back on offensively opposite Washington’s co-staff ace seem bleak, at best.

Strasburg hasn’t let up since his torrid 2019 seasons. He started two huge games in Los Angeles against the Dodgers in the NLCS and checked in with a quality start for each. He also asserted his usual dominance in the pair of six-inning gems, stringing together 17 K’s compared to only one walk.

Oh and this is certainly no surprise. Strasburg has been one of baseball’s best playoff pitchers this whole decade. In fact, he now holds a microscopic 1.32 ERA and 0.88 WHIP in six career postseason outings (five starts), spanning 34 frames.

So, it’s hard to describe the outlook for these struggling opposing hitters as anything other than gloomy. On the bright side, Cardinals pitching allowed only five runs in the two defeats, spearheaded by two nice starts at the office from Miles Mikolas and Adam Wainwright.

This time around for Game 3, St. Louis will hand the ball to the guy that was undoubtedly the NL Cy Young of the second half — if such an award existed. That would be Flaherty, who has continued his absolutely awesome run since the All-Star break with very similar work in his first two career playoff assignments. The soon-to-be 24-year-old (his birthday is tomorrow) clocked in with 13 effective innings across his two starts against the Atlanta Braves, yielding four runs in all while compiling 16 strikeouts to two walks.

Yes, it’s pretty clear Flaherty can continue to be leaned upon while he remains in this rhythm. Both probables have potential for a true standout showing, yet with the over/under at 7, it might only take one to do the job while the other starter hangs in there. Play: UNDER 7 (-120)

Yesterday’s Result: Yankees-Astros Under 7.5 (WIN)

2019 MLB Over/Under Betting Record*

Regular Season: 89-78-12, +1.05 units

Playoffs: 9-3-1, +2.8 units

*Each bet graded as if it were to win 1 unit (playoffs 0.5 unit)

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