Friday night, the Washington Nationals and Cardinals started the 2019 NLCS with Game 1 at Busch Stadium in St. Louis. Both clubs went the distance in their respective League Division Series and won Game 5s. The NLCS matchup is an unexpected one, especially considering that the Cardinals were 44-45 on July 12, and the Nationals were 19-31 on May 23. 

St. Louis completed a second-half push to win the NL Central while the Nationals won the NL Wild Card Game against the Brewers. While the Nationals are playing in their first League Championship Series ever, the Cardinals are playing their 10th NLCS in the last 20 seasons, and 14th overall.

Now let's set the scene with some essentials. 

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How to watch

Date: Friday, Oct. 11 | Time: 8:08 p.m. ET
Location: Busch Stadium (St. Louis, Missouri)
TV: TBS | Stream: fuboTV (Try for free)
Odds: STL: -121 | WAS: +106 | O/U: 8
Pitchers: Miles Mikolas (STL) vs. Anibal Sanchez (WAS)
Follow: CBS Sports App 


The Cardinals won the regular season series against the Nationals, 5-2. The two teams only postseason matchup came in 2012 when the Cardinals ousted the Nationals in a comeback win in Game 5 of the NLDS. 

The Nationals will turn to right-hander Anibal Sanchez tonight. He had one start in the NLDS against the Dodgers, in which he struck out nine batters in five innings of one-run ball. Sanchez, 35, finished his first season with the Nationals with an 11-8 record and his 30 starts were his most in a season since 2012. Washington hasn't announced its rotation after Sanchez, but the team will lean on its three aces in Max Scherzer, Stephen Strasburg and Patrick Corbin. The trio has worked 36 of the team's 54 innings this postseason. All three have also appeared in relief.

Miles Mikolas will take the mound for the Cards. The right-hander started Game 1 of the NLDS and he threw a scoreless 10th inning in Game 4. Mikolas has a 2.81 ERA with 37 strikeouts and nine walks over his past seven starts, plus the one inning out of the bullpen. The Cardinals pitching plan for the NLCS is to start Adam Wainwright in Game 2, followed by ace Jack Flaherty in Game 3 and Dakota Hudson in Game 4.


We'll say that the Cards offense, led by Paul Goldschmidt and Marcell Ozuna, gets to Sanchez early. St. Louis' bullpen will be lights-out and the Cards will hang on to come away with the Game 1 victory.

Pick: Cardinals 6, Nationals 4