MLB Betting: Cardinals visit DC for weekend

By: Jimmy Sirody | Wednesday, August 25, 2010
Chris Carpenter

The Cards have won seven of Chris Carpenter’s last eight starting assignments.

The St. Louis Cardinals began a stretch where they play 17 of their next 20 games on the highway on Monday at Pittsburgh. The current 10-game trip that continues this weekend in Washington and ends in Houston was supposed to be a turning point for the inconsistent Cardinals, just what they needed to pass the upstart Cincinnati Reds in the National League Central standings.

However, the Cardinals came up short Tuesday at PNC Park as 230 favorites with co-ace Adam Wainwright on the hill. Fortunately, the Reds were blown out by the San Francisco Giants, so the St. Louis division deficit remained at 2 ½ games.

Chris Carpenter (14-4, 2.88) gets the ball Thursday night at Washington in the opener of a four-game set against the lowly Nats, and will likely be a bigger MLB odds favorite than Wainwright was against the Buccos.

The Nationals had lost three straight and 12 of their last 16 prior to Wednesday’s series finale against the Chicago Cubs and they had floundered in eight of their last 10 at home.

Jordan Zimmermann was expected to form a dynamic duo atop the rotation with Stephen Strasburg but instead will replace the rookie sensation and make his 2010 debut against the Cardinals.

The right-hander looked to headline the Nationals’ rotation this season before learning he would need Tommy John surgery. He was sent to Syracuse on Aug. 1 after a minor-league rehab assignment.

Zimmermann started 16 games in 2009, posting a 3-5 record and a 4.63 ERA. He faced the Cardinals on May 1, 2009 at home and limited them to six hits and two runs in seven innings.

Carpenter has gone at least seven innings in each of his starts since the All-Star break, with a 1.99 ERA and five wins. He scattered nine hits over eight innings while allowing one run en route to a 3-2 win over Washington on May 18 at Busch Stadium to improve his career mark against the Nats to 5-1 and lower his ERA to 3.56.

St. Louis has dropped five of its last six when facing teams on the losing side of the ledger, though it has cashed nine of 11 on the road against under .500 clubs. The Cardinals have also prevailed in 44 of their last 55 series openers and they have won 21 of 29 versus NL-East foes.

Washington has lost 13 of the past 16 series meetings, dropping a pair at St. Louis in the initial clash this season. The Nats have lost five of seven home meetings with the Cardinals.

The ‘under’ has cashed in seven of the past eight series confrontations and the teams have tumbled ‘under’ at a 18-7-1 clip at Nationals Park.

Carpenter has watched the Cards top the total in nine of his past 13 road starts, but the ‘under’ is 5-1 in his last six starts against Washington.

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