Washington Nationals vs. Chicago Cubs NLDS Game 1 - 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)
K Hendricks (7-5) (3.03) vs. Stephen Strasburg (15-4) (2.52)
The Line: Washington Nationals -163 / Chicago Cubs +153 --- Over/Under: 7 See the Latest Odds
Over at Nationals Park on Friday evening, the National League Division Series between the Chicago Cubs and the Washington Nationals will be getting started with Game 1.
Chicago finished 92-70 during the regular season, winning the NL Central by six games. The Cubs’ most recent series came against the Reds, and Chicago won the first pair of that set 5-4 and 9-0 before losing 3-1 on Sunday in the regular-season finale.
USA TODAY Sports
Chicago announced their Game 1 starting pitcher on Wednesday. They’re going with RHP Kyle Hendricks, who posted 139.2 innings, a 7-5 record, a 3.03 ERA and 123 Ks this year.
On offense, Chicago has some enviable hitters. Kris Bryant finished the regular season with 162 hits, 111 runs, 29 homers and 73 RBI, while Anthony Rizzo was second on the team with 156 hits, 99 runs, 32 homers and 109 RBI.
Over on the Nationals’ side, they posted a 97-65 record in the regular season, which translated to a commanding NL East win over the Marlins (77-85). In Washington’s last series against the Pirates this weekend, the Nats won the first two games but fell in the weekend outings 4-1 and 11-8.
With Max Scherzer nursing a pulled hamstring, the Game 1 starting gig will go to Nationals RHP Stephen Strasburg. In his 175.1 innings and 15-4 record this year, Strasburg put up a 2.52 ERA with 204 Ks.
The Nats have some great offensive contributors as well. David Murphy finished the regular season with 172 hits, 94 runs, 23 homers and 93 RBI, while Ryan Zimmerman had a great year with 159 hits, 90 runs, 36 homers and 108 RBI.
The Cubs are 6-1 in their last seven versus the NL East, and 6-1 in their last seven Divisional Playoff games. Chicago is also 4-1 in the last five overall and 5-1 in Hendricks’ last six starts versus the NL East.
Meanwhile, the Nats are 5-1 in their last six following an off day and 13-5 in their last 18 during game one of a series. Washington is also 45-11 in Strasbourg’s last 56 starts and 5-0 in Strasburg’s last five Friday starts.
Hendricks gets a vote of confidence from the coaching staff in Chicago, thanks to a big Game 7 in the World Series last year, and also his NL-best 2.19 ERA since coming back from a hand injury in July. As for Strasburg, he has six quality starts in his last seven games, and in those outings he allowed zero earned runs. I like Hendricks to come out and pitch well, but with the run Strasburg has been on to finish the season, I’m going with the Nationals here. It should be a competitive and fun-to-watch game.