Tanner Roark (1-2, 2.59 ERA) and the Washington Nationals (29-25) meet Tsuyoshi Wada (0-0, 2.30 ERA) and the Chicago Cubs (28-24) in the second of a four-game series at Nationals Park. The Cubs won the last game 2-1 and Chicago leads the series 1-0. The game starts at 7:05 p.m. ET on Friday, Jun. 5 and will air on CSN-CHI and MASN.
Roark has a 5.03 ERA and a 2-2 record in his career against the Cubs, but is up against a struggling Chicago offense that's hitting just .238 on the year. Denard Span (.301, 23 Rs, 5 HRs, 16 RBIs, 3 SBs) went 1 for 5 yesterday with one run. In his pitching opportunities against the Nationals, Wada is 0-0 with a 1.69 ERA, six strikeouts and two walks. Anthony Rizzo (.321, 29 Rs, 9 HRs, 31 RBIs, 10 SBs) has been hitting the ball well for the Cubs, going 2 for 4 yesterday.
Washington is a -128 favorite in this game and the Over/Under (O/U) is set at seven runs. When playing as the favorite, the Nationals have a 25-17 record and overall money line at -137. Washington has averaged 2.5 runs per game over the last 10 games, lower than its season average of 4.4.
Switching gears, the Cubs come into this game with a win percentage of .474 when playing as the underdog (9-10) and an overall money line of -34. Over the past 10 matchups, they are 4-6 SU and have a poor 0-2 record when they were an underdog to win. The Cubs have racked up 45 steals on the year, making them one of the most threatening base-running teams in the league. Switching gears to Chicago's pitching staff, they have a WHIP of 1.20 on the year, good for fifth in the league. The Chicago pitching staff has been an intimidating group this year, averaging an NL-best 8.8 strikeouts per game.
The Nationals will take on a left-hander (Wada) in this game. They have excelled against left-handed starting pitchers this season, going 8-4. Taking the hill against the Cubs will be the right-hander Roark. They sport a 23-20 record against righties.
Predictions: SU Winner - CHC, O/U - Over
The Cubs won their last game by a one-run margin. In games decided by one run, the Nationals are 10-6. The Cubs are 15-10 in close games this season.
Having scored one run in their last game, the Nationals are going to have to up their game if they want to win this matchup. The Cubs have an 11-0 record in games where opponents scored that many runs or fewer.
When they are outhit, the Nationals are 6-23. The Cubs have a 7-19 record when opponents outhit them.
Ranking 16th in home runs, Chicago has hit 50 this season. Washington ranks 11th with 55 home runs.
Ranking 11th, Chicago is in the top half of the league in hits, notching 8.20 per game. Washington ranks in the top 10 at 10th with 8.43.
Ranking 18th, Chicago is in the bottom half of the league for its on-base plus slugging percentage (.699). Washington ranks in the top half at 11th with an OPS of .723.
When the Cubs allow at least one home run, they are 15-18. When the Nationals allow one or more homers, they have an 8-15 record.