The Washington Nationals and St. Louis Cardinals continue their three-game series on Tuesday night. The Cardinals took the opener to maintain their lead in the National League Central at two games, while the Nationals saw their lead for the top Wild Card spot in the National League fall to a half-game with the loss.
Trying To Hang On
The Nationals will take on the Cardinals in St. Louis tonight after dropping the first game of the series 4-2. Many teams will have their eye on this game with plenty of playoff implications on the line.
Washington is currently 82-67, and while they sit 10 games back from the Braves in the NL East, they are holding the top Wild Card spot in the National League. They are just a half-game up on the Cubs, who are on a five-game win streak, and 1.5 games up on the Brewers, who have won their last three.
The Nationals were extremely hot last month, but so far are 4-6 over their last 10 games, and they are currently on the road against the hottest team in baseball.
Getting the start on the bump for the Nationals for this one will be Patrick Corbin. In his last outing, Corbin got the win over the Twins after allowing three earned runs over six innings.
The win brought Corbin to 12-7 this season with an impressive 3.20 ERA and 213 strikeouts. So far this month, Corbin has only allowed a max of three runs in any game he’s started.
Getting the job done at the plate for the Nationals has primarily been their star first baseman, Anthony Rendon. Rendon will at least be in the MVP conversation this year. As we near the end of the season, he has posted a .333 batting average with 34 home runs and 119 runs batted in.
The Nationals come into this game with a 40-36 record on the road and a 49-50 record when they are favored.
Still On Top
St. Louis comes into this game 84-66 after winning the first game of the series. They are holding onto first place in the NL Central, but it will come down to the wire as they have the Cubs and Brewers on their tails, two and three games back, respectively.
The Cardinals have been scorching hot lately, but with the Cubs and Brewers both on win streaks of their own, one or two games getting away from them could cost them the division. With 12 games left in the Cardinals’ season, seven will be head-to-head with Chicago.
Miles Mikolas will toe the bump in this one for the Cardinals. The 31-year-old allowed three runs over five innings while striking out five in a winning effort in his last outing over the Rockies.
The win in his last game brought his record to 9-13 this season with a 4.28 ERA and 136 strikeouts. With the division being so tight, every game from now to October will have the pressure of a playoff game. With the added stress, it will be worth watching how Mikolas responds.
After a somewhat slow start to the season, it has been former All-Star Paul Goldschmidt getting it done from the plate for the Cardinals. In his first year with the team, he has posted a .258 batting average with a team-leading 31 home runs and 89 runs batted in. Kolten Wong has also put together a solid season, as he leads the Cardinals with a .285 batting average.
What To Expect
The Cardinals have been hot, and Mikolas has been very serviceable. But with that being said, Corbin is the kind of guy that can come in and slow a team down. Look for this to be a low-scoring game where the Nationals pull off the win.