A.J. Cole (0-0, 5.79 ERA) and Jason Hammel (4-2, 2.82 ERA) start in the third of a four-game series between the Washington Nationals (30-25) and the Chicago Cubs (28-25) at Nationals Park. The Nationals won the last game 7-5 and the series is currently tied 1-1. Action begins at 12:05 p.m. ET on Saturday, Jun. 6 and can be seen on CSN-CHI and MASN.
Cole pitched 4.1 innings in his most recent start, surrendering two runs and striking out seven in an 8-1 defeat to the Phillies. Bryce Harper (.330, 43 Rs, 18 HRs, 45 RBIs, 3 SBs) went 1 for 2 yesterday. Against the Nationals, Hammel is 8-0 with a 3.10 ERA, 1.09 WHIP, and 58 strikeouts. Anthony Rizzo (.325, 31 Rs, 11 HRs, 34 RBIs, 10 SBs) has been successful at the plate for the Cubs, going 2 for 4 yesterday with two runs, two home runs, and three RBIs.
The odds for Washington and Chicago are even, while the Over/Under (O/U) is unavailable as of now. The Nationals have seen a decline in scoring as of late, averaging 2.2 runs during the last 10 games compared to their season average of 4.3 runs per game.
Offensively, the Cubs have really sputtered in the last 10 games. They have decreased their season average of 4.0 runs per game by averaging 2.5 during that stretch. The Cubs are an excellent base stealing team with 45 stolen bases, ranking fourth in the MLB. When it comes to preventing batters from getting on base, the Cubs are one of the best in the league with a WHIP of 1.21 for the season. The Cubs have established a reputation of overwhelming hitters with an NL-best 8.8 strikeouts per game.
The Nationals lead the season series, 3-2. The Nationals have a 21-21 record against right-handed starting pitchers on the year, which is what they'll be facing when Hammel takes the mound.
Predictions: SU Winner - CHC
When leading after 7 innings, Washington is 15-11, while Chicago is 13-12.
The Cubs are coming off of a weak pitching game where they recorded six strikeouts. The Nationals have a record of 10-6 when opponents' pitchers have that many strikeouts or fewer.
When they outhit their opponents, the Cubs are 16-3. The Nationals have a 21-2 record when outhitting opponents.
Ranking 21st, Chicago sits near the bottom of the league in runs, scoring 212 this season. Washington ranks in the top 10 at seventh with 241.
Ranking sixth, Washington is in the top 10 of the league in walks, notching 179 this season. Chicago ranks in the top five at third with 183.
The Nationals are 22-9 when they hit at least one home run. The Cubs perform similarly when they hit one or more homers with a 19-12 record.