June 30, 2017
There is one pick today.
Take St. Louis Cardinals (-121) on the ML against Washington Nationals risking 3.63% to win 3%.
(Roark and Leake must start for wager to have action)
Washington Nationals travel to St. Louis to open up a three-game set with the Cardinals tonight. Even though the Nationals are the perceived ‘better’ overall team, we believe this particular matchup is one that should lean heavily in St. Louis’ favor.
Tanner Roark has been an absolute disaster on the mound over his last few starts. He got off to a solid start to begin the season, however he slowly been on a decline as the season has progressed. His last three outings have been particularly awful as he’s given up at least 6 earned runs in each of them. In fact, over his last 13.2 innings of work, he has given up 19 earned runs over that span. It’s very uncommon to see a pitcher’s ERA fluctuate heavily in the middle of the season and that is exactly what has happened to Roark. We have seen his ERA shift from 3.87 to 4.39 after his first start, from 4.39 to 4.88 after his second and it has now gone from 4.88 to 5.15 after his latest debacle. There is definitely something wrong with Roark’s mechanics and until he is able to make the necessary adjustments, we believe he will continue to give up runs in bulk.
Cardinals’ pitcher Mike Leake hasn’t exactly been sharp himself over his last few starts, as he has given up 21 earned runs over his last 6 outings, however, we didn’t expect his torrid pace to last. Through the first 2 and a half months of the season, Leake was having the best start of his career with an ERA of 1.91. Over his last 6 starts, his ERA has risen, but still remains a respectable 3.12 and WHIP of 1.09 on the season. This is more indicative of the caliber of pitcher that Leake has been over the course of his career, so it was only a matter of time before his incredible stats regressed. That being said, he is also holding batter to an average of .240 on the year and putting up solid numbers overall.
The Cardinals ultimately need this series more than their counterparts. They are currently ranked 4th in the division and need to make up some ground if they want to have any shot at a playoff berth this season. Meanwhile, Washington currently holds a huge lead over the Braves and they likely won’t be challenge for the remainder of the season unless they go into an all-out freefall. If the Cardinals can get to Roark in this contest, that should allow them enough cushion to come away with a victory in the opening game of this series.
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