St. Louis Cardinals
Date: Sunday, October 7th, 3:07 ET
Location: Busch Stadium, St. Louis, MO
MLB Betting Odds: St. Louis -105
MLB Playoffs On TV: TBS
Our 2012 MLB playoffs picks continue on Sunday night in St. Louis, where the St. Louis Cardinals battle it out with the Washington Nationals. Join us for our MLB predictions for what should be a remarkable Game 1 of the NLDS.
Manager Davey Johnson knows that this is one of the biggest moments of his career, as he has come back from the depths of de facto retirement to take one of the youngest teams in baseball to the precipice of the World Series. The Nats hold all of the cards, and at some point, someone is going to have to beat them in DC to take the title away from them. Unfortunately, they don’t have Stephen Strasburg, but Gio Gonzalez pitching Game 1 of this series. He’ll be matching wits with Adam Wainwright, making his first appearance in the playoffs for the Cards since his surgery that cost him all of last season.
The champs probably have the better of these two lineups, and certainly the more clutch of the lineups. David Freese did it again on Friday, delivering what turned to be the knockout blow against the Braves, and he is just turning into St. Louis’ version of Mr. October. Washington’s bullpen could be tested in this one if Gonzalez doesn’t make it that deep into the game, though the unit has held up at least to this point, even though there aren’t a lot of household names in the bunch.
This is a tough first game to handicap on the World Series playoff odds. Wainwright went just 14-13 this year, but his splits suggested that perhaps he should have won 17 or 18 games. Gonzalez is the best arm that Johnson is going to trot out there in this series, but the team is on the road, where it was significantly worse than it was at home for the most part this year. The bright lights will be too big in our eyes in Game 1 for so many of these Washington players, and we think that the Cardinals figure out how to win this game late on.
Washington Nationals @ St. Louis Cardinals Pick: St. Louis Cardinals -105