Nationals vs. Cardinals Prediction and Odds for Monday, September 5 (Jack is Back and St. Louis Stays Hot)

St. Louis Cardinals starting pitcher Jack Flaherty (22)
St. Louis Cardinals starting pitcher Jack Flaherty (22) / Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

The St. Louis Cardinals have found a soft landing spot for Jack Flaherty as he returns from the IL to start just his third game of the season and his first since June. He returns to face the Washington Nationals, the worst team in baseball in the first of a three-game series this afternoon. 

Aníbal Sánchez goes for the Nats as they try to build on a series win over the New York Mets over the weekend. 

Here are the latest odds for today's Labor Day matinee at FanDuel Sportsbook:

Nationals vs. Cardinals Odds, Run Line and Total

Run Line:

  • Nationals +1.5 (+106)
  • Cardinals -1.5 (-128)


  • Nationals +225
  • Cardinals -275


  • 8.5 (OVER -104 | UNDER -118)

Nationals vs. Cardinals Prediction and Pick

Flaherty's started just three games this season, pitching a total of eight innings while allowing six runs and ultimately returning to the IL. A shoulder injury has plagued him his season, but we know the type of pitcher Flaherty can be when healthy.

This addition to the Cardinals rotation is huge as they prepare for the postseason. They have enough of a lead in the division that they can live with some struggles as he knocks rust off and will be thankful to have their ace back in October. 

Flaherty had a 3.22 ERA in 15 starts last season, but hasn’t truly been his most dominant self since 2019 when he finished fourth in Cy Young voting. He is still just 26 and likely has his best years ahead of him, but I’m not so sure he will be totally in command of his stuff tonight. I’m just not sure that it even matters. The Cardinals have won four straight, they have the second best offense in the league over the past two weeks in both OPS and runs scored, and are 8-2 in their last ten games. 

The Nats also have a winning record in their last 10 at 6-4, but that run of good play is going to come to an end. Anibal Sanchez has been really good in his last three starts, but his 5.04 ERA is misleading. He has been even worse than that with a 6.65 Fielding Independent Pitching (FIP). 

Even if Flaherty isn't his usual self, I'll back St. Louis on the run line to take care of business at home.

PICK: Cardinals -1.5 (-125)

Follow all Josh Yourish’s bets HERE