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Chicago Cubs at Washington Nationals MLB Pick, Odds, Prediction - 7/5/14

Chicago Cubs (37-46) at Washington Nationals (46-38)

MLB Baseball: Saturday, July 5, 2014 at 4:05 pm (Nationals Park)

Jeff Samardzija (R) (2-7) (2.833) vs. Gio Gonzalez (L) (5-4) (3.932)

The Line: Washington Nationals -152 / Chicago Cubs +142 --- Over/Under: 7 See the Latest Odds

TV: CSN-CHI, MASN

The Chicago Cubs and Washington Nationals meet for game two on Saturday afternoon.

Don’t look now, but the Cubs have won four straight games and six of their last eight. As usual, the Cubs pitching makes the difference, as they’ve allowed three or less runs in seven of their last 10 games. Overall, the Cubs have an ERA of 3.54, 10th best in all of baseball. Offensively, Starlin Castro has 12 hits in his last nine games and Nate Schierholtz has two homers in his last four games. Jeff Samardzija takes the hill, and he’s 2-7 with a 2.83 ERA and has 103 strikeouts in 108 innings. Samardzija is 2-3 with a 3.12 ERA in 12 career games against the Nationals.

Chicago Cubs at Washington Nationals MLB Pick, Odds, Prediction - 7/5/14

USA TODAY Sports

The Nationals had their five-game winning streak come to an end on Friday, but they’re still seven games above .500. The Nationals pitching has also been great during this stretch, allowing three or less runs in nine of their last 13 games. The Nationals season ERA is 3.04, which is the best in the majors. Offensively, Anthony Rendon has hit safely in nine of his last 10 games and Jason Werth has homered in back-to-back games. Gio Gonzalez gets the nod, and he’s 5-4 with a 3.93 ERA and has 71 strikeouts in 68.2 innings. Gonzalez is 2-1 with a 3.03 ERA in five career starts against the Cubs.

The Cubs are 1-5 in Samardzijas last 6 road starts and 17-36 in Samardzijas last 53 starts. The Nationals are 13-6 in Gonzalezs last 19 starts and 5-2 in Gonzalezs last 7 home starts vs. a team with a losing record. The Cubs are 3-8 in the last 11 meetings in Washington. 

I like the Cubs again in this spot given the value. They're playing well and Samardzija has been a solid pitcher who just hasn't gotten much run support. I like Chicago to stay hot. 

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Chicago Cubs +142

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