Dae Bets previews the NLCS between the Nationals and Cardinals. Two unlikely contenders that prove why October baseball is so great.
St. Louis Cardinals vs Washington Nationals
Date & Time: October 11th, 2019, 8:08 PM (EST)
Location (Game 1): Busch Stadium St. Louis, Missouri
Line: Nationals -125 (To win series)
TV Channel: TBS
The time has arrived it is finally the best part of the year the four major sports, football, baseball, hockey and basketball are intertwining. However Baseball is in its champion stages. The first championship to start will be the St. Louis Cardinals against the Washington Nationals in a ball for the National League Title. Both teams got in through the wild card and were underdogs by the end the season. They have really shown how great October baseball can be. The Cardinals will have home field advantage in what should be a great best of seven game series. Both of their previous series went to game 5 so they are equally taxed.
Who will win the Pitching Matchup?
When assessing a game the first thing I look at is the pitching matchup. It will be no different when previewing this series. At first glance you might think that the Nationals clearly have the better pitching in this match up but going by total ERA the Cardinals actually have the upper hand. The Nationals hold a pitching ERA of 4.28 while the Cardinals hold a 3.82 ERA.
Nationals Top 3
Max Scherzer 11-7 2.92 ERA
Stephen Strasburg 18-6 3.32 ERA
Patrick Corbin 14-7 3.24 ERA
Cardinals Top 3
Jack Flaherty 11-8 2.75 ERA
Dakota Hudson 16-7 3.35 ERA
Mike Mikolas 9-14 4.16 ERA
When comparing the teams top three pitchers I would have to go with the Nationals. The main point being that the gap between the two pens is not as deep as it appears. To the end the year Husdon and Flaherty have been just as good as Sherzer and Corbin/Strasburg. However in the postseason The Cardinals bullpen has been much better than the Nationals holding a 4.30 ERA compared to a 6.63 ERA (Nationals). If the Cardinals can get to the bullpen they can cause some problems.
Cardinals and Nationals Bats are both hot
Obviously to make it this far they both have excellent line ups. We are just trying to be as picky as possible when choosing our bets. The Nationals have a huge edge in batting average with .02 differential. They ranked 6th in the league with .265. The Cardinals also have a K% of .2 percent more than the Nationals. They are tied in stolen bases and the Nationals have 21 morre Home runs than the Cardinals. Recently both of these team key batters have been very clutch. Ozuna and Goldschmidt are the definition of consistency. They also seem to have a rising star in Edman that kid is special and I wouldn’t be surprised if he has something to say this series. The Nationals will be looking to Rendon and Turner to keep up their amazing performance. They also have some key veterans batting well such as Asdrubel Cabrera and Howie Kendrick.
Playoff Batting Average Stats
Paul Goldschmidt .429
Marcel Ozuna .429
Anthony Rendon .350
Tommy Edman .316
Trea Turner .280
Juan Soto .273
The Bottom Line
I think we can all agree that the Nationals have the advantage in pitching so it will be up to the Cardinals batters to show up and decrease that gap. Ozuna has been hot hitting two home runs in game 4 of the NLDS and will be a key factor for the Cardinals future. Goldschmidt and Edman have been solid throughout the playoffs as well along with mr clutch himself Yadier Molina. Molina is the only reason the Cardinals are still in the playoffs. If this series stays close these players will be a huge factor. They need to get to the bullpen as fast as possible consistantly or the Nationals starters will destroy them. I just don’t think they have enough to get through them. The Nationals just defeated the Dodgers who were looking to go to their third straight World Series appearance. Ask anyone the Cardinals are nowhere near as good as the Dodgers.. The pitching advantage along with in form bats such as Anthony Rendon, Jaun Soto, and grand slam Howie kendrick will just be to much. I mean come the Nationals 4th pitcher in Anibal Sanchez who has been a breakout star this year. I Could actually see the Nats sweeping them if the pitchers all have their A game. This series goes no more than 6. Nats take it down.
Nationals win in 6 games (-125)