Nationals vs. Cardinals Pick MLB – April 29th

Kenta Maeda had his first bad inning on of the season late last night, allowing four runs including a Ginacarlo Stanton bomb, en route to his first big league loss.  We took the loss along with him, only our second losing day in the last ten, so will be looking for a bounce back winner tonight.

It’s Friday, so nearly every game is in the evening and we have a lot of good new series to choose from.  The Giants head East to visit the defending NL Champion Mets, and while tonight’s pitching matchup isn’t the most glamorous, the series will highlight the struggling Matt Cain trying to get right against Jacob deGrom before Sunday’s awesome MadBum vs. Syndergaard duel.

In other series, the Cubs look to stay hot against the scuffling Braves, the surprising Phillies (12-10) trying to stay hot hosting the Indians, and an awesome weekend set between the Nationals and Cardinals.  It should be a nice weekend of baseball.  Let’s start it off with a winner.

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Today’s Free Pick:

Washington Nationals -137 at St. Louis Cardinals +130 (Total: 7.5)

Stephen Strasburg (3-0, 2.17 ERA) vs. Mike Leake (0-2, 5.64 ERA)

It hasn’t been a great start to the season for Mike Leake in his new Cardinals uniform.  The long time Reds was jettisoned to the Giants last year and moved to the Cards in free agency in the offseason to bolster a strong rotation.  So far in four starts he hasn’t allowed less than four run in any outing and he has yet to earn his first win as a Redbird.

It will be tough to snap that streak tonight.  The Nationals enter at 14-7 even after a disappointing and odd sweep at Philadelphia in which they failed to score in the last 22 innings.  However, don’t be surprised if we get a substantial regression to the mean tonight.  The change of scenery should bring things back to normal.  Washington can hit, and they won’t remain scoreless for long.  Plus, Strasburg gets the ball, and HE has been excellent all year long.  Stras enters with a perfect 3-0 record and an ERA in the low twos.  He has a career 2.81 ERA against St. Louis despite having yet to earn his first official win.

I think he gets it tonight.  Leake has been struggling, and I think Washington is ripe to explode tonight.  Look for them to score some runs on Leake and for Strasburg to regain his command.  I like Washington to win in a relatively low-scoring affair.

Free Pick: Washington Nationals to WIN -137

Chris Scheeren / Author