Washington Nationals vs. St. Louis Cardinals Betting Preview

  • Both teams are on two-game winning streaks.
  • St. Louis finished the season with a 50-31 record at home.
  • The Cardinals have scored more postseason runs than any of the remaining teams in the playoffs.

ST. LOUIS, Mo. – NLCS Game 1 is Friday and it features two teams not many people thought would still be alive this far into the season. The unexpected NLCS matchup of the St. Louis Cardinals (-129) and the Washington Nationals (+119) has been one of the most surprising stories of the MLB postseason thus far.

The Cardinals have made their return to the NLCS for the first time since 2014. The Nationals beat the odds of a slow start to their season and won their first playoff series since they moved to the nation’s capital from Montreal.

Game 1 of the NLCS will take place in Busch Stadium where the St. Louis Cardinals are favored to win the first game of the NLCS. History supports the odds, as the Nationals are just 2-7 SU against Cardinals in their last 9 meetings.

The Cardinals will be starting right-handed pitcher Miles Mikolas. Mikolas had a record of 9-14 this season and had an ERA of 4.16. However, Mikolas has been a different pitcher this postseason. In the two games he’s pitched this postseason, Mikolas has an ERA of 1.50 and has only given up three hits in six innings pitched.

An interesting prop bet for this matchup would be the O/U total strikeout for Mikolas, the Over has +115 odds, while the under is listed at 150. The over should be a comfortable bet here as Mikolas has shown his ability to retire batters this postseason.

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The Nationals are countering by sending their own right-handed pitcher, Anibal Sanchez to the mound in Game 1. This season Sanchez had an 11-8 record, with a 3.85 ERA, and 134 strikeouts. Sanchez will be tasked with cooling down a Cardinals batting lineup that scored an MLB postseason record 10 runs in the first inning in their NLDS massacre of the Atlanta Braves. Sanchez will have to last deep into this game as the Nationals have blown the fifth most saves in the MLB this season with 29.

Although both teams have scored the most runs of any team this postseason, the total at online sports betting sites in this ball game is set at 8 runs. The Under seems to be like a good bet here because five of the last six meetings between these two teams has seen the total go Under.

The NLCS first pitch will be at 8:08 p.m. EST and will be broadcast by TBS.