The St. Louis Cardinals will conclude their battle with the Washington Nationals in the final game of a three-game series Sunday afternoon. With that said, it’s a good time to check out our MLB odds series, which includes our Cardinals-Nationals prediction and pick we have laid out below.
The Cardinals, knee-deep in Juan Soto rumors, will look to take the series from Washington. At 53-48, St. Louis is just four games out in the NL Central and one game behind in the Wild Card.
Washington, on the other hand, is clearly out of the playoff picture at 35-67. The playoffs are so distant for Washington that star player Juan Soto is the subject of trade rumors despite having two years of team control left.
Here are the Cardinals-Nationals MLB odds, courtesy of FanDuel.
MLB Odds: Cardinals-Nationals Odds
St. Louis Cardinals: -1.5 (+136)
Washington Nationals: +1.5 (-164)
Over: 9 (-118)
Under: 9 (-104)
Why The Cardinals Could Cover The Spread
St. Louis will send Andre Pallante to the mound in this one. Pallante, in his rookie season, has a 3.53 ERA across 27 games. In his nine starts, Pallante has a 4.66 ERA, striking out 32 in 46.1 innings. Pallante has excelled at limiting hard contact, with his barrel rate sitting at a measly 3.3%, ranking in the 95th percentile in baseball. The bullpen has been exceptional, ranking 11th in baseball with a 3.67 ERA. Ryan Helsley owns a triple-digit fastball that fuels a 0.65 ERA, striking out 13.5 batters per nine. Helsley is one of the filthiest pitchers in baseball and a true weapon out of the Cardinals’ bullpen. Closer Giovanny Gallegos is solid, boasting a 3.43 ERA and 10 saves.
At the plate, this is one of the deepest lineups in the league. Paul Goldschmidt is a bona fide MVP candidate, with 24 home runs and an impressive .333/.414/.611 slash line. Paired with Goldschmidt is third baseman Nolan Arenado. Not to be outdone, Arenado has posted a .293 average with 19 home runs. Those two have helped to weather the losses of multiple key players to injuries, as well as rookies Juan Yepez and Nolan Gorman, who each have 11 home runs. As a team, St. Louis owns a .252 batting average.
Why The Nationals Could Cover The Spread
While they still have Juan Soto in their uniform, Washington can do damage. Soto has bashed 20 home runs and has gotten on base at a .404 clip, which is actually below his career rate of .427. Soto is walking at a 20.3% rate, easily the best in the league. No doubt that Soto will bring back an expensive haul given his otherworldly skill set. Josh Bell, another popular trade target, is also enjoying a great season, with a .305 batting average and 14 home runs. Other than those two, there are not many threats in this Nationals lineup. The team ranks 11th in batting average with a .247 mark, but has only 79 home runs, the second-worst mark in baseball.
Josiah Gray, who has been in two blockbusters himself, will be this afternoon’s starting pitcher. Gray has a 4.45 ERA in 97 innings, with an impressive 10.4 K/9. Gray has easily been the best starting pitcher for the Nationals this season and is set to be an important part of this rotation in the future. Behind Gray, the Nationals’ bullpen should not elicit much confidence. Although they are exponentially better than the rotation, the bullpen ranks 23rd in ERA with a 4.21 mark. Closer Tanner Rainey has been solid, though, with a 3.30 ERA and 12 saves.
Final Cardinals-Nationals Prediction & Pick
This should result in a series victory for St. Louis.
Final Cardinals-Nationals Prediction & Pick: Saint Louis -1.5 (+136), over 9 (-118)