The St. Louis Cardinals (45-41) take on the Washington Nationals (41-46) Friday in the opener of a 3-Game set at Nationals Park at 6:45 p.m. ET. Let’s analyze BetMGM Sportsbook’s lines around the Cardinals vs. Nationals odds and make our expert MLB picks and predictions for the best bets.

Season series: First meeting; Cards won 4-2 last season

The Cards prevailed in Pittsburgh 3-2 in 10 innings against the Pirates Thursday as they took 2 of 3 from them. OF Alec Burleson had 2 hits and is leading the offense right now. Burly is hitting .354 with 3 HR and 17 RBIs in the last 15 days. The Cards are 13-7 in their last 20 games.

The Nats took the final 2 of a 4-game series against the New York Mets. They came away with a 1-0 thriller Thursday as OF Jesse Winker‘s pinch-hit homer in the 8th was the difference. No. 3 prospect in baseball, OF James Wood, has hits in 3 of his first 4 MLB games and is hitting .308 in 13 ABs.

Cardinals at Nationals projected starters

RHP Sonny Gray vs. LHP Patrick Corbin

Gray (9-5, 2.98 ERA) makes his 16th start. He has a 0.99 WHIP, 2.4 BB/9 and 11.2 K/9 through 87 2/3 innings.

  • Last start: Loss, 4 1/3 IP, 3 ER (6 R), 7 H, 1 BB, 6 K in 9-4 home defeat Saturday against Cincinnati Reds
  • His 11.2 K/9 is the 2nd-best of his career
  • Last 5 starts vs. Nationals: 2-1, 4.32 ERA, 1.36 WHIP, 20 K in 25 IP (hasn’t faced them since 2021)

Corbin (1-8, 5.49 ERA) makes his 18th start. He has a 1.53 WHIP, 3.1 BB/9 and 6.2 K/9 through 95 innings.

  • Last start: Loss, 6 IP, 4 ER, 8 H, 1 BB, 5 K in 5-0 setback Sunday at Tampa Bay Rays
  • Has allowed the most ER in MLB
  • Last 5 regular-season starts vs. St. Louis: 1-1, 2.79 ERA, 1.31 WHIP, 33 K in 29 IP (hasn’t faced it since 2021)

Who’s going yard? Here’s a breakdown of today’s best home run props with our top picks. Include the BetMGM bonus code SBWIRE to score a $1,500 first-bet offer.

Cardinals at Nationals odds

Provided by BetMGM Sportsbook; access USA TODAY Sports Scores and Sports Betting Odds hub for a full list. Lines last updated at 12:22 p.m. ET.

  • Moneyline (ML): Cardinals -165 (bet $165 to win $100) | Nationals +135 (bet $100 to win $135)
  • Run line (RL)/Against the spread (ATS): Cardinals -1.5 (-105) | Nationals +1.5 (-115)
  • Over/Under (O/U): 9 (O: -105 | U: -115)

Cardinals at Nationals picks and predictions


Cardinals 6, Nationals 5


The Cards should win this game. Gray has been a little spotty, but his stuff has remained electric. St. Louis has been solid against lefties, too, at 13-10, and Corbin continues to live up to his standard for one of the worst contracts in MLB.

That said, I’m not spending -165 on them. Instead, we’re keying in on Winker, who hit the go-ahead homer Thursday. He’s 2-for-4 lifetime off Gray, and he KILLS the Cardinals. He’s hitting .352 with 11 homers and 32 RBIs in 224 career at-bats against them. Take JESSE WINKER OVER 1.5 H+R+RBI (+120).

Run line/Against the spread

This is a spot where you would have to consider the Cards here with their ace on the mound against an inferior team. The problem, though, is I know this team. They are just 13-26 ATS when favored. They play SO many 1-run games and have fared well at 16-12 in them. However, you just can’t trust them to cover the 1.5. That said, I also don’t want to pay -115 for a run on the Nats’ side.



The Cards are 5-5 O/U in their last 10, and the Nats are 6-3-1. It’s projected to be a scorcher at 96 degrees, over 50% humidity and a 6-mph breeze blowing out to left-center.

That’s a recipe for an OVER 9 (-105) to hit.

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