Washington Nationals (64-43) at Chicago Cubs (57-51)
|Date & Time||Saturday August 5, 2017, 2:20 PM (EDT)|
The Line: Chicago Cubs -145 / Washington Nationals +135 --- Over/Under:
Up at historic Wrigley Field on the North Side of the Windy City on Saturday, the Washington Nationals and the Chicago Cubs will be picking up their weekend MLB series once again.
In Friday’s opener, the Nationals scored two runs in the first inning, riding that to a 4-2 victory.
For the Saturday game, the Nationals will be bringing out RHP Edwin Jackson. In his 24.0 innings and 2-1 record this year, Jackson has a 3.75 ERA with 14 Ks.
The Nats have some dominant hitters this year. Coming into this set, Daniel Murphy had 125 hits, 68 runs, 17 homers and 73 RBI, while Bryce Harper had 121 hits, 86 runs, 27 homers and 80 RBI. Harper had two hits on Friday; Murphy went off with two homers and three RBI.
Over on the Cubs’ side, they’re going with RHP John Lackey on Saturday. In his 114.2 innings and 8-9 record this year, Lackey has a 4.87 ERA with 99 Ks and 36 BBs.
Chicago has some key bats as well. Kris Bryant came into this set with 101 hits, 70 runs, 20 homers and 47 RBI, while Anthony Rizzo had 101 hits, 64 runs, 26 homers and 70 RBI. Bryant posted one hit Friday, while Rizzo went 0-for-4.
The Nationals are 10-4 in their last 14 during game two of a series, and the over is 6-2 in Washington’s last eight during game two of a series. Washington is also 8-1 in their last nine versus the NL Central, and 10-4 in their last 14 road games.
Meanwhile, the Cubs are 5-1 in their last six during game two of a series, and 4-0 in Lackey’s last four starts. Chicago is also 5-2 in Lackey’s last seven home starts and 1-6 in Lackey’s last seven Saturday starts.
Lackey was great in July, posting a 3-0 record with a 3.27 ERA. He struck out 16 over 22.0 innings in that span. The initial returns on Jackson have been good as well, so this should be an interesting matchup. Lackey is pitching so well lately that I think he’ll put the Cubs in position for a win here, though. I’ll take Chicago.