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Cardinals vs. Nationals MLB Pick / Gambling Preview (Aug. 26)

MLB Thursday Preview – St. Louis vs Washington

Before baseball gambling fans turn their attention to other sports betting events, we have the Saturday MLB game of the day pick for you. It’s time for our weekly baseball picks for online MLB betting action.

Season Record:
St. Louis: 68-56 SU
Washington: 53-74 SU

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Zimmerman Makes 2010 Debut vs. Cardinals

MLB Betting – St. Louis Cardinals @ Washington Nationals

Chris Carpenter (14-4) vs. Jordan Zimmerman (–)

Carpenter vs. Nationals Hitting
The 2010 version of Chris Carpenter is doing a very good job solidifying his reputation as one of the best in the business. This season he’s 14-4 with a 2.88 ERA, Cy Young-esque numbers in any other season, but unfortunately he has been overlooked while many of his counterparts put up otherworldly stats. One can never count out the former Cy Young winner, as his most recent starts can attest to. Carpenter is 5-1 in his last eight starts, going at least seven innings in all but one outing and not allowing more than three runs in any of them.

An average hitting team, the Nationals shouldn’t cause a pitcher like Carpenter to lose too much sleep; especially since Washington’s best hitters have looked anything but in the past against Carpenter. Ryan Zimmerman is just 1-for-10 against Carpenter, while Adam Dunn is 4-for-24 (.167) with 10 K’s versus the righty. The only National regular with any success against Carpenter is Ivan Rodriguez (10-for-28 lifetime). If your offense is relying on Pudge Rodriguez to provide pop, I’m not betting on that team.

Zimmerman vs. Cardinals Hitting

Jordan Zimmerman will be making his first start in 13 months, a welcome sign for a franchise dealing with “other” pitching issues. Zimmerman showed promise in a short stint with the team early last year, and showed even more promise with a 0.53 ERA in four AAA starts this season. The former second round pick is an integral part of the Nationals future, and management will be monitoring his progress very carefully.

The first major league offense Zimmerman will be facing in 13 months will be the St. Louis Cardinals; not an ideal situation. The best player in the league resides in St. Louis (Albert Pujols and his .319/.419/.600 line). Matt Holliday (.301, 21 HR, 76 RBI) and Colby Rasmus reside there as well. I’m bettingZimmerman’s first start back won’t be an easy one.

Bullpen Comparison

Kyle McClellan is having a hell of a breakout year with the Cards. In 51 appearances the righty has a 1.87 ERA, almost two full points lower than his career average. He’s averaging almost a strikeout per inning and has been the most consistent reliever in a bullpen aching for stability. Others, like Jason Motte and Ryan Franklin have been solid, but McClellan is the one constant Tony LaRussa can call on when he needs too.

Reliever Tyler Clippard still leads the team in wins (9), which has more to do with the lack of start power in the rotation then total dominance by the relievers. However, it has been a strong season for the National’s bullpen. Aside from leading the team in wins, Clippard is the workhorse of the group (72 IP), and has a very solid 3.00 ERA to go along with it. Joel Peralta, Sean Burnett, Drew Storen and Doug Slaten have all thrown more than 33 innings, and all have sub-3.00 ERA’s. It’s a strong group.

Outlook

When a former Cy Young winner faces off against a guy making his return after a 13-month absence, the odds generally lean towards the side of the guy with hardware. Add in a better offense by St. Louis and the Nationals don’t really have a chance in this one. The best they can hope for is the continued health and progress of Jordan Zimmerman. Just don’t expect the Cardinals to do him any favours.

Pick: St. Louis Cardinals

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Poolside Rants hails from beautiful Bozeman Montana by way of Toronto, Canada. (Blame his wife for the move). He’s a Dallas Cowboys football honk. But please….don’t hold that against him. The man knows his sports and has uncanny knowledge when it comes to picking games.

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