Baseball Picks: Cardinals at Nationals

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The St. Louis Cardinals are in Washington Monday night, continuing their nine-game road trip with a three-game set against the Nationals


Nats starting pitcher Dan Haren has cost $100 bettors nearly $3,100 in April-May starts the past eight seasons

St. Louis split a pair of games with Pittsburgh to start this tour and was poised to take a 3-1 series win out of Philadelphia over the weekend but the bullpen could not hold of the Phillies bats. Mitchell Boggs was tagged with the loss Sunday after giving up four runs on four hits in a 7-3 Philadelphia victory.


The Cards (10-8) are 6-6 on the road this season with a 5.08 runs per game average, sixth best in the league. Tonight marks the first meeting between these teams since a 9-7 Cardinals win October 12, 2012 that propelled St. Louis on towards the National League Championship Series.


Washington (10-8) is returning from a 3-3 road trip against the Marlins and Mets where a lack of consistency on offense got in the way of what should have been a winning campaign. In the three losses, Washington scored two or fewer runs and the Nats have slipped to 19th in league scoring (4.00 RPG).


In their last home stand Washington was swept by the Atlanta Braves and it’s helped make St. Louis (-111) a small money line favorite tonight with sportsbooks. Pinnacle Sports is listing the total at 7.5 Under (-115) and the starting pitchers are Shelby Miller (2-1, 1.96 ERA) and Dan Haren (1-2, 8.10 ERA).


Miller started the season with solid wins over the Giants and Brewers and then held the Pirates to six hits and two runs last Wednesday (Apr. 17) in a 5-0 loss. The first rounder (2009) is facing Washington for the first time in his career.


Haren is 4-0 in five career starts vs. St. Louis and three of those wins were home games but it was back when Haren chucked for Oakland and Arizona. His most recent win against the Cards was in June, 2010 and although his numbers from each of those five starts were good, it’s worth noting that four took place in June or later.



Throughout his career, Haren has consistently produced strong outings during the months of June and July but while trying to find that groove, he’s been good “fade” material. In April, the right-hander has led teams to an 18-22 record since 2006 and in May, Haren’s teams have a dismal 19-27 record. It’s cost a $100 bettor more than $3,000 (-30.8 units) and in more recent years the trend seems to be getting worse.


In his last 10 April starts, Haren’s only been able to nail down two wins and in six home games the record is just 1-5 with an average of just 3.2 runs per game scored in his support.



The Nats were shutout 3-0 Sunday in New York and have played “Under” 10-straight times after getting blanked, as long as their opponent scored less than nine runs. Washington is 2-0 this year after a shutout and the offense came up big but we look for Miller to continue his strong early-season run as the Cards track down first place in the NL Central.

Pick: Take the Cardinals


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