The Washington Nationals have been one of the biggest disappointments in the majors this season, but they’re still within reach of the New York Mets in the National League East. They’ll try to close the gap when they wrap up a three-game series in St. Louis, who lead the competitive Central Division.
Max Scherzer will take the mound for the Nats; he was 10-7 in 18 starts before the All-Star break with an ERA of 2.11. Since the break, Scherzer is 1-4 in eight starts with a 5.09 ERA, and he hasn’t posted a win since July 30 in Miami. Washington needs their big money hurler to put the rotation on his shoulders down the stretch, or they’ll miss the playoffs.
The Cardinals send out Michael Wacha, who has allowed four earned runs in his last six starts while going 4-0 over that time. He has also been excellent at home in 2016, going 6-2 with a 2.43 ERA in 11 starts. Wacha has been one of the best pitchers in the National League since the break, going 5-1 in eight starts with a 2.16 ERA. That certainly softens the blow of missing Adam Wainwright all season.