The St. Louis Cardinals face off against the Washington Nationals in the first game of a three-game series between National League teams. The Nationals swept the Cardinals back in 2019 on their World Series run and that’s when they really got their first look at Juan Soto. Now with news that he is on the trade block, there are rumors that multiple Cardinals front office members are in DC this weekend to try to work out a trade. The Cardinals definitely have the wealth to do it, they could include top prospect Jordan Walker, Nolan Gorman, and Matt Liberatore as main pieces. The real question is just whether the Nats will make the move.
Anibal Sanchez is making just his third start of the season after starting the season on the IL and he didn’t look good in the first two. He allowed multiple walks in each of them, along with a combined three home runs. I think he will have a tough time against a Cardinals lineup that gets both Paul Goldschmidt and Nolan Arenado back from the restricted list. Miles Mikolas is coming off a bad outing but that was because he was facing the Reds lineup for the second time in as many starts. He is 7-8 with a 2.87 ERA overall on the season and he had pitched quality starts in seven of his last eight starts before he struggled in his last outing.
The Nats are the worst team in baseball at 5-17 in July including 1-9 at home in July, and that is even after winning a series in Los Angeles against the Dodgers. The Cardinals are just 9-12 in that same timespan, and they are really bad on the road this season. They are 4-8 on the road in July and they are 23-27 on the road this season. The Cardinals bullpen is major advantage though even though the numbers might not show it. They are ranked 11th in the league in bullpen ERA but their bullpen is also completely rested after the off day. The Nationals bullpen is ranked just 25th in the league and they lost a key piece recently. They lost Tanner Rainey as their closer, and that is a massive hit for a team that doesn’t have much bullpen depth. The price is a little bit juicy, but it has come down all the way to this line on some books after being at around -190 early today, I like the Cardinals on the road.
John's BOTD: Cardinals ML vs. Nats | -170