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April 18th 2014 - Posted at 5:00 PM Eastern Time

The picks will be posted at 11:00 AM ET at the standard time on Saturday and Sunday.

The MLB season started with an underdog winner for us last night and we are happy about that but it is always best to proceed with caution in the early going. Tonight's bet is a 1% lean.

There were originally two bets planned for today but SPS does not like paying heavy juice/vig and the movement in one game means the price is now too steep for our liking and no longer worth the investment.

Take Washington Nationals on the Money Line (-107) against St. Louis Cardinals risking 1% 
(Gonzalez and Wacha must start)

These two teams square off again in Game 2 of the series tonight. Last night the St Louis Cardinals made easy work of the Nationals as their "Ace" Adam Wainwright pitched a 2 hit shutout in an 8-0 victory! Tonight however the Cardinals will face a much stiffer test in Gio Gonzalez. 
Gonzalez is coming off a poor performance in his last start surrendering 6 runs to the Atlanta Braves. He has typically been the model of consistency but rough starts like that do happen to even the best pitchers from time to time. In his previous two starts, Gonzalez was nearly unhittable giving up just 1 earned run and 6 total hits in 12 innings of work!

St Louis' Michael Wacha has picked up where he left off last season. This kid is young but already playing at a high level. Like Gonzalez, Wacha was somewhat roughed up in his last start against a struggling Cubs team giving up 3 earned runs, 5 hits and a home run in just over 6 innings of work and it'll be interesting to see how he recovers from that. He's a talented pitcher but he doesn't have the experience that Gio has.

With two stellar pitchers on the mound, this game could well come down to the bullpens. If that is indeed the case then the NAtionals own a distinct advantage. St Louis' bullpen has been poor to start the season. They've given up a combined 24 earned runs in 42 innings of work. They have a combined ERA of 5.62 on the road this season compared to 1.30 home ERA for the Nationals' pen! We saw Adam Wainwirght close out the game last night which allowed St Louis to stay away from having to use their bullpen. they will have to hope they can get the same kind of production out of Wacha tonight or Washington may take this game late. 

Both of these teams are poised to make a run this season and should finish near the top of the National League. Washington comes into this game struggling a bit losing 5 of their last 7 games as well as being shut out last night. The betting public is fickle and looks unfavorably at this team, much like they did against the Red Sox while we showed there is value in backing them. That's the way we feel about Washington Nationals tonight. This is a quality team off an embarrassing performance. Gio Gonzalez will no doubt want to make up for his last start in order to redeem himself as well. The Nationals have historically struggled against the Cardinals and this particular game is a chance for them to almost redeem themselves on all fronts. We expect to see an inspired and motivated effort that proves they can compete with the Cardinals.

Other notable facts to consider: 

  • St Louis is 20-32 in road games after a win over the last 2 seasons.
  • Gio Gonzalez 31-13 in night games over the last 3 seasons.
  • The Cardinals are 10-18 after a win by 6 runs or more over the last 3 seasons!
  • Washington is 40-27 at home when the total is 7 or less over the last three seasons!

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