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Washington Nationals vs. Chicago Cubs - 10/12/17 MLB Pick, Odds, and Prediction

Chicago Cubs (94-71) at Washington Nationals (98-67)

MLB Baseball: Thursday, October 12, 2017 at 5:38 pm (Nationals Park)

K Hendricks (8-5) (2.88) vs. Gio Gonzalez

The Line: Washington Nationals / Chicago Cubs --- Over/Under: See the Latest Odds

TV: TBS

The Chicago Cubs and Washington Nationals meet Thursday in game five of the NLDS at Nationals Park.

The Chicago Cubs continued their trend of not being able to score runs in this series, as they were shutout while producing just three hits and striking out 14 times in the game four loss. The Cubs have now scored a combined eight runs in this series overall, an average of two runs per game. Anthony Rizzo and Ben Zobrist have combined for seven hits and five RBI while Kris Bryant has three hits. If the Chicago Cubs expect any real chance to return to the NCLS, the offense must wake up in this game, and that starts with the meat of their order, especially Bryant, who has really struggled this series with nine strikeouts. Kyle Hendricks gets the ball, and he was 7-5 with a 3.03 ERA and 123 strikeouts this season. Hendricks is 2-1 with a 1.98 ERA and 36 strikeouts in his postseason career.

Washington Nationals vs. Chicago Cubs - 10/12/17 MLB Pick, Odds, and Prediction

USA TODAY Sports

The Washington Nationals have all the momentum in this series after Stephen Strasburg pitched a gem and Michael Taylor hit a grand slam in the eighth inning to put the game away. The Nationals haven’t been much better offensively than the Cubs in this series, but they have won 17 of their last 24 games when scoring more than one run. So, Washington has shown throughout the second half that much offense isn’t needed to get the job done with this rotation leading the way. Overall in these playoffs, Ryan Zimmerman leads the Nats with three hits and four RBI while Michael Taylor and Daniel Murphy have combined for five hits and four RBI. The Washington Nationals are a win away from reaching the NLCS for the first time since leaving Montreal. Gio Gonzalez gets the ball, and he was 15-9 with a 2.96 ERA and 188 strikeouts this season. Gonzalez is 0-0 with a 4.24 ERA and 21 strikeouts in his postseason career.

The Cubs are 4-1 in their last 5 playoff road games, 10-4 in their last 14 road games and 35-15 in their last 51 Thursday games. The Nationals are 7-2 in their last 9 Thursday games, 2-6 in their last 8 playoff home games and 2-4 in their last 6 games on grass. The under is 32-14-7 in Nationals last 53 overall and the under is 7-3 in Cubs last 10 road games.

Gonzalez has allowed a combined nine runs in his last 9.1 innings, but he does have an ERA of 2.76 and an allowed batting average of .226 at home this season overall. Hendricks shutdown these Nats for seven innings, and he's allowed just one run in his last 18 innings overall. However, sometimes you can throw stats and numbers out the window when it's a win or go home game. The Nationals gained a lot of momentum in that game four victory and have to be feeling better about themselves at the moment. The Cubs are struggling to make contact let alone producing offensively. It just feels like the Washington Nationals are in a better spot than the Cubs, so I'm going to side with the home team.

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