1:45 PM ET, September 25, 2013
Busch Stadium, St. Louis, Missouri
Washington: Zimmermann (19-8, 3.18 ERA)
St. Louis: Miller (14-9, 3.12 ERA)
Online sports wagering fans were truly impressed with the effort from a rookie pitcher that moved the St. Louis Cardinals closer to an NL Central title.
Shelby Miller is now getting his golden opportunity, however Washington Nationals own Jordan Zimmermann is looking to become a 20-game winner.
The 22 year-old Miller will try to follow an outstanding performance from Michael Wacha and help St. Louis take another step toward a division title tonight versus the Nationals.
Wacha came within an out of throwing a no-hitter Tuesday, allowing an infield single to Ryan Zimmerman before exiting the 2-0 win.
Cards manager Mike Matheny and his team are chasing their first division crown since 2009, sitting two games ahead of the Pittsburgh Pirates and three in front of the Cincinnati Reds with four to play.
All three teams have clinched at least a wild-card spot, while the Cardinals magic number in the division race is three.
St. Louis (93-65) will try to reduce that number with another fantastic rookie in Miller (14-9, 3.12 ERA).
The Texas native is 2-0 with a 3.09 ERA in his last four starts. Miller’s been even better in his last three at home, winning each while posting 0.96 ERA.
However, the right-hander wasn’t close to being that sharp Friday, yielding four runs in six innings of a 7-6 win in 10 versus the Milwaukee Brewers.
With victories in the first five meetings versus the Nationals in 2013, the Cardinals are close to sweeping a season series of at least six games for the first time since going 7-0 versus the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2006.
Another victory in the season series won’t be easy with Zimmermann (19-8, 3.18) on the mound.
The 27 year-old is bidding to join Gio Gonzalez (2012) and Ross Grimsley (1978) as the only 20-game winners in franchise history. Reaching that milestone would mean beating St. Louis for the first time. Zimmermann’s 0-3 with a 9.40 ERA in six starts against them, including two in last year’s division series, which the Nationals lost in five games.