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Nationals, Cardinals Among Best Bets On The Board For Saturday’s NL Action

Posted by on 5/9/2015 12:53:09 AM

Anybody that wrote the St. Louis Cardinals off after the Adam Wainwright injury is probably wondering now how they could have been so shortsighted and with the consensus preseason World Series favorite Washington Nationals struggling because of their own injuries and inconsistencies the window is open for the Cardinals to stretch their lead atop the NL. Here is a look at the best bets on the board for Saturday’s NL action.

Atlanta Braves @ Washington Nationals

Saturday, 4:05 PM ET

After a terrible start the Nationals have rallied to win seven of their last 10 games and they will look to stay hot this weekend against their NL East rivals. Bryce Harper powered Washington to a 7-5 win over Miami with three home runs the other day and now the team will turn to Doug Fister to lock down the Atlanta offense. Fister has held opponents to one earned run or fewer in three of his five starts but he was touched up for four earned runs on 10 hits in just 5.2 innings of work in his lone start versus the Braves so despite his 2.61 ERA he isn’t a lock to shut Atlanta down. Fortunately for Fister, Julio Teheran was roughed up in his lone start versus Washington this year when he gave up seven runs on 10 hits in just 5.2 innings of work. Fister doesn’t have to dominate but if he does better than he did in his last start against Atlanta then the Nationals should be able to continue to close the gap behind the New York Mets in the NL East.

Pick: Washington

St. Louis Cardinals @ Pittsburgh Pirates

Saturday, 7:05 PM ET

It’s somewhat amazing that the Cardinals still lead the majors in ERA despite being without Wainwright and with their staff locked in and their offense clicking early on it’s no surprise they continue to win games. Veteran hitters like Matt Carpenter and Matt Holliday have been on fire so far this season and the St. Louis offense is one reason why Carlos Martinez managed to avoid the loss despite giving up seven earned in just 3.2 innings of work in his last start against the Chicago Cubs. In fact, Martinez is 3-0 with a 3.64 ERA and the Cardinals have won every one of the six games he has appeared in this year. The Pirates will counter with Vance Worley and while he hasn’t been awful he might not get the run support that he needs once again the same way that he didn’t in a 3-2 loss to St. Louis in his last start when he gave up just one earned run on four hits over six innings of work. It’s unlikely he will pitch any better than that and if Worley didn’t win that game he isn’t any more likely to win this one.

Pick: St. Louis

Chicago Cubs @ Milwaukee Brewers

Saturday, 7:10 PM ET

Even though they are only one game above .500 the Cubs have slipped in to the top-10 teams in all of baseball according to the updated World Series odds. However, while Chicago is finally seeing signs of life out of this Cubs team it’s important not to buy too heavily in to the hype until this team proves that it can put it all together on an extended run. A weekend trip to Milwaukee is the perfect opportunity to string some wins together including on Saturday with Travis Wood on the hill. Wood is coming off his worst start of the season but he didn’t give up more than three earned runs in any of his previous starts and should be able to bounce back with a win over Kyle Lohse and a Milwaukee team that has the worst record in baseball right now.

Pick: Chicago

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