By: Hector Duran
The Cubs are rolling, and they have made it 5 in a row as they swept the Giants by a score of 1-0. Kyle Hendricks twirled a gem going 7 scoreless frames and only giving up 3 hits, no runs, no walks, and 7 strikeouts. The Cubs only managed 2 hits for the whole game, but they came at the right time as they were able to get a run across in the 4th innings thanks to an Anthony Rizzo single. For the Giants, Jeff Samarzidja was cruising early as he retired the first 9 batters he faced but thanks to the sun and a (rare) Brandon Crawford error, he was charged with a tough earned run. The Cubs are set to host the Nationals for a weekend series, and they look to keep playing good baseball.
Line: Nationals (+170); Cubs (-180)
Spread: Nationals +1.5 (EVEN); Cubs –1.5 (-120)
Over/Under: 7.5: Over (-125); Under (+105)
First Pitch: 1:20pm; Wrigley Field; Chicago, IL
The Nationals are in a good stretch of baseball right now as they are 8-2 in their last 10 games as they look to maintain their position in the first wild card spot. They will send Anibal Sanchez out who is 7-6 with a 3.99 ERA this season. In his last start, he was roughed up by the Brewers going only 4 innings while allowing 8 hits, 5 earned runs, 4 walks, and 5 strikeouts. The biggest threat for the Nationals is Anthony Rendon. Over his last 7 games, he is slashing .394/.429/.727 and he has been a big part of their success all season. The young outfielders in Victor Robles and Juan Soto look to have a good game against the veteran Jon Lester.
The Cubs, paired with a Cardinals win, keep the pace at just .5 games up in the division. Jon Lester will get the ball to start the weekend and he has a 10-8 record and a 4.23 ERA. Jon knows he has been the weak link of the starting staff recently and with how the team has been playing as of late, I think that he will feed off that and have a good outing. Nicholas Castellanos, who has been red hot, is 2-3 against Sanchez and he looks to continue his hot streak. Kris Bryant has had some clutch homers over the past several days, so it is nice to see his bat coming around at the right moments.
Preview and Prediction
Like I had said yesterday, let’s keep riding with the Cubs until they give us a reason not to. -180 on the moneyline is not great value but it’s a pretty safe play. Sanchez has struggled and the Cubs have been playing red hot so some runs should be scored here. With that being said, I am also going to be taking the over at 7.5. That is not a lot of runs for these two offenses and a crappy Nationals bullpen. Additionally, Lester is prone to giving up the long ball so there might be some of those.