The Washington Nationals enjoyed a successful weekend and Ben Steele expects that to continue as the National League Championship Series heads back to the capital.
"With both teams boasting impressive pitching units, look for a low scoring game. Washington have been successful in close games already this term so Strasburg should be able to drag his team to a 3-0 series lead."
St Louis Cardinals @ Washington Nationals
Tuesday, 00:35 BST
Low scoring game gives the Nationals the edge
As starts go the Washington Nationals couldn't have asked for a better one, Anibal Sanchez and Max Scherzer both flirted with no-hitters as they led the Nats to a 2-0 lead over the St Louis Cardinals.
After two games in St Louis the NLCS heads to Washington with the Nats knowing they need to win just two more games to make their first World Series appearance in their history. Since the departure of Bryce Harper, ironically in the search of increased postseason success, pitcher Stephen Strasburg has become the face of the Washington franchise and he starts tonight looking to pick up another playoff win.
Strasburg gave up a couple of homers, but was otherwise exceptional, in a Game 5 win over the LA Dodgers and managed to drop his playoff ERA to 1.32. The 31-year-old was the National League wins leader, and has continued his success, which bodes well for his head to head with Jack Flaherty.
The St Louis righty had no trouble at all in his own Division Series decider, as he was given a 10 run headstart before he even threw a pitch, but was solid none the less. With both teams boasting impressive pitching units, look for a low scoring game. Washington have been successful in close games already this term so Strasburg should be able to drag his team to a 3-0 series lead.
Goldschmidt is Cards main hope
Facing such an impressive pitching rotation the St Louis Cardinals need to rely on their big hitters to step up. Paul Goldschmidt is the main man for the Cards, and has played like it throughout the playoffs. Nobody in the league has more hits than him, and only Jose Altuve and Max Muncy have hit more home runs, so he will be key to any hope St Louis have of turning the series around. The first baseman is batting .345 in October, and has a decent record against Strasburg in his career so will be hoping to add to his total. If anything is to happen for St Louis tonight it will probably come through Goldschmidt, expect him to add to his home run total, even if he doesn't end up on the winning side.