On Monday night in Washington D.C., the St. Louis Cardinals and Washington Nationals continue their 2019 NLCS with Game 3 at Nationals Park. The Nationals enter the contest with a 2-0 lead in the best-of-seven series, putting them in prime position to advance to the 2019 World Series.
The Nationals claimed a victory in Game 2 behind a strong outing from Max Scherzer and some timely hitting from Michael Taylor and Adam Raton. The Nationals were able to leverage Scherzer’s start in a way that enabled them to avoid using the soft underbelly of their bullpen, a strategy that has proven to be a key throughout their postseason run.
The NLCS matchup is an unexpected one, especially considering that the Cardinals were 44-45 on July 12, and the Nationals were 19-31 on May 23. St. Louis completed a second-half push to win the NL Central while the Nationals won the NL Wild Card Game against the Brewers. While the Nationals are playing in their first League Championship Series ever, the Cardinals are playing their 10th NLCS in the last 20 seasons, and 14th overall.
Now let’s set the scene with some essentials.
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How to watch
Date: Monday, Oct. 14 | Time: 7:38 p.m. ET
Location: Nationals Park (D.C.)
TV: TBS | Stream: fuboTV (Try for free)
Odds: WAS: -126 | STL: +116 | O/U: 7
Pitchers: Jack Flaherty (STL) vs. Stephen Strasburg (WAS)
Follow: CBS Sports App
The Cardinals are turning to ace Jack Flaherty to turn their series around. Flaherty should be up for the challenge, given he’s posted a 1.22 ERA and a .450 OPS against in his final 17 regular-season starts. Flaherty does most of his work with a 94-mph fastball and a slider that generated whiffs on 45 percent of the swings taken against it during the season.
Opposing Flaherty will be Stephen Strasburg. The righty has came up big repeatedly for the Nationals this postseason — in three appearances (including two starts) he’s allowed 11 hits, four runs, and one walk in 15 innings. He’s struck out 21 batters over that same sample. Strasburg throws four pitches around 20 percent of the time: a four- and two-seam fastball, a curve, and a changeup.
This should be a pitcher’s duel. The Cardinals seem better equipped to handle things bullpen-wise, but we’re leaning Nationals because it’s just been that kind of October for them.
Pick: Nationals 3, Cardinals 1
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