Washington (Strasburg) -135 at St. Louis (Leake) O/U 7.5
It’s not hard to make a case for betting against Mike Leake in a matchup against Stephen Strasburg, a true starting pitching mismatch. Leake’s walk rate is at a career high through his first four starts, and his ground ball rate is at a career low, a bad combination for a pitcher that doesn’t record strikeouts in bunches. He’s given up at least four runs in each of his first four starts of the season, and the only game St Louis was able to win with him on the hill came in a game where they scored eight runs.
I’m not anticipating that type of offensive outburst from the Cardinals tonight against one of Washington’s aces, Stephen Strasburg. The Nats are 4-0 with Strasburg on the hill this year. He’s lasted into the eighth inning in each of his last three starts, with a 27-4 strikeout to walk ratio during that span. Dusty Baker’s bullpen behind Strasburg is an elite unit even after taking a rare loss last night, ranked #3 in MLB in bullpen ERA.
Washington is hungry off an ugly home sweep by the Phillies during the week; shut out in each of their last two games. First baseman Ryan Zimmerman following last night’s tough loss, talking about this road trip: “We enjoy the challenge. We get to see what we are really made of. We go out and play three really good teams. I think the guys in (the) locker room are excited for it." Chalk worth laying!