Washington Nationals vs. Chicago Cubs - 10/6/17 MLB Pick, Odds, and Prediction
Chicago Cubs (92-70) at Washington Nationals (97-65)
MLB Baseball: Friday, October 6, 2017 at 3:33 pm (Nationals Park)
Hendricks vs. Stephen Strasburg
The Line: Washington Nationals / Chicago Cubs --- Over/Under: See the Latest Odds
The Chicago Cubs and Washington Nationals meet Friday in game one of the NLDS at Nationals Park.
The Chicago Cubs ended the regular season winning six of their last eight games and really found their groove in the second half overall. The Cubs are led by a pitching staff that has a 3.75 ERA, which is seventh in all of baseball. The Cubs have allowed three or less runs in 11 of their last 16 games, which should translate well to the postseason where pitching is usually the difference maker. Offensively, Kris Bryant leads the Cubs with 162 hits and 73 RBI while Anthony Rizzo and Javier Baez have combined for 284 hits and 184 RBI. The Chicago Cubs are in the playoffs for a third straight season and are obviously the defending World Series champions. Kyle Hendricks gets the ball, and he was 7-5 with a 3.03 ERA and 123 strikeouts this season. Hendricks is 1-1 with a 2.38 ERA and 30 strikeouts in his postseason career.
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The Washington Nationals ended the season splitting their last 12 games and haven’t had a meaningful game in months due to running away with the NL East. The Nationals are one of the more balanced teams in baseball due to a pitching rotation that has a 3.88 ERA and an offense that is fourth in baseball with 1,477 hits. The Nats could be the most dangerous postseason team considering they’re sixth in team ERA and fifth in runs scored. Daniel Murphy leads the Nationals with 172 hits and 93 RBI while Ryan Zimmerman and Anthony Rendon have combined for 312 hits and 208 RBI. The return of Bryce Harper should also be a big boost to the lineup. The Washington Nationals have come up small time and time again in the postseason, so this is kind of a put up or shut up season for this franchise. Stephen Strasburg gets the ball, and he was 15-4 with a 2.52 ERA and 204 strikeouts this season. Strasburg is 0-1 with a 1.80 ERA and two strikeouts in his postseason career.
The Cubs are 6-1 in their last 7 vs. National League East, 7-3 in their last 10 playoff games and 7-3 in Hendricks' last 10 starts with 7 or more days of rest. The Nationals are 5-1 in their last 6 games following an off day, 3-7 in their last 10 playoff games and 1-5 in their last 6 playoff home games. The under is 5-2 in the last 7 meetings in Washington and 4-1 in Hendricks' last 5 starts vs. Nationals.
Strasburg has been lights out in the month of September, as he produced a 0.83 ERA in five starts, and the Nats haven't lost with him on the hill since August 19. Also, Strasburg hasn't allowed more than three runs in his last 10 starts, is allowing just a .202 batting average at home and a .171 batting average post all-star break. Hendricks has been solid in his own right, but nobody has looked as good as Strasburg the last couple of months, as he's pitching like the guy we expected to see when he first entered the league. You have to like the Nats with their ace on the hill.