The April 30th NL free pick is a matchup of teams going opposite directions in the standings. The Cardinals have used an 8-2 run over their last 10 to put a 3 game padding between them and the Cubs in the Central. Washington meanwhile has slipped to 3.5 GB from the Phillies in the East after a record of just 3-7 over their last 10. It would seem like the Redbirds would be huge favorites at Nationals Park in this one, but there’s value in the line at STL -120.
Fade the Cardinals Here?
St. Louis leaps out at bettors on paper, offering tremendous upside at just -120 ML favorites. The Cardinals won the first game of the series on Monday 6-3, scoring all of their runs in the 5th after falling down 0-3 early. The St. Louis offense has looked potent lately, scoring at least 4 runs in 9 of their last 10. Paul Dejong is hitting nearly .400 in the past six games. Yadier Molina (.364) and Jose Martinez (.350) are also having a good go of it over that span as the Cardinals have the top team BA in the majors.
Adam Wainwright hopes to be the beneficiary of another superb offensive outing from the Cardinals offense as he takes the hill in the April 30th NL free pick. The right-hander overall has been solid in 3 of his last 4, with a 3ER allowed outing April 19th to the Mets being his own non-quality start over that span. In the other three outings, Wainwright gave up a total of 4ER in 18IP. Wainwright appeared in only 8 regular season games last year, none against Washington.
Can Nationals Right the Home Ship?
Washington is on a downtrodden little run here, having lost 3 straight series’. Over that span, the Nationals are 3-10 including Monday night’s loss in which Washington was able to scratch out just 4 hits. Dave Martinez’ team lost 2 of 3 to San Diego over the weekend and now their home record is just 6-9 on the year. Washington can still score some runs however (9th in runs/game) and they have plated 5+ in 5 of the last 8. Despite Wainwright being a veteran, Kurt Suzuki and Anthony Rendon are the only Washington players with more than 5 career AB vs. the Cardinals starter. Rendon has only played one game the last 10 days though as he battles a bruised left elbow.
Anibal Sanchez takes the ball for Washington on Tuesday, looking for his first win in his 6th start of the season. Sanchez gave up 6ER on 9 hits in his last outing, but some of that can be forgiven as the game was at hitter friendly Coors Field. Sanchez has allowed at least 3ER in 4 of 5 starts on the season. He did make a start vs. the Cardinals last year as a member of the Braves, throwing a pretty solid outing of 2ER and 4H allowed over 6.0 IP.
April 30th NL Free Pick Betting
It’s hard not to like St. Louis in this one, as an early 70% of the betting public do. Everything points to the Cardinals in this one and in situations where one side is a no-brainer, sometimes you have to make the bold call to pull the trigger on the opponent.
NL Free Pick: Washington Nationals +100