Published: Fri, October 11, 2019
Sport | By Kayla Schwartz

Louis Cardinals vs. Washington Nationals - 10/11/19 MLB - Playoffs Pick, Odds, and Prediction

Louis Cardinals vs. Washington Nationals - 10/11/19 MLB - Playoffs Pick, Odds, and Prediction

Mikolas was good in his NLDS Game 1 start against the Braves, though, allowing a lone run over five innings.

The Washington Nationals will be making their first appearance in the NLCS since the franchise relocated from Montreal following the 2004 season when they visit the St. Louis Cardinals for Game 1 on Friday night as +105 underdogs (8:08 PM ET, Oct. 11th). St. Louis built its NLDS series win on a pair of offensive explosions, starting in Game 1, when the Cardinals erased a two-run deficit by scoring five times over the final two innings in a 7-6 win. The Nationals, meanwhile, defeated the Dodgers after back-to-back, game-tying home runs off Clayton Kershaw in the eighth inning, and a go-ahead from Howie Kendrick grand slam in the 10th.

Cardinals manager Mike Shildt announced his starters for the first four games of the NL Championship Series on Thursday.

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Now let's set the scene with some essentials.

The Nationals appear to be exorcising some playoff demons too, rallying late to defeat Josh Hader and the Brewers in the NL Wild Card game before rallying again to knock off the Dodgers - the team who eliminated the Expos in that 1981 NLCS, and the Nationals in Game 5 of the 2016 NLDS. The right-hander was 16-7 with a 3.35 ERA in the regular season. Anibal Sanchez struggled in his 1 start against the Saint Louis Cardinals during the 2019 season as he gave up 3 earned runs in 5 innings. Sanchez, 35, finished his first season with the Nationals with an 11-8 record and his 30 starts were his most in a season since 2012. Sánchez is, in a lot of ways, an afterthought when discussing the Nationals' rotation which boasts Max Scherzer, Stephen Strasburg, and Patrick Corbin. The trio has worked 36 of the team's 54 innings this postseason.

Those struggles extend to Washington's expected starter in Game 1, Anibal Sanchez. In 2018, he led the league with 18 wins while posting a 2.83 ERA in 200 2/3 innings. The Cardinals pitching plan for the NLCS is to start Adam Wainwright in Game 2, followed by ace Jack Flaherty in Game 3 and Dakota Hudson in Game 4.

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