Gio Gonzalez (4-2, 4.73 ERA) and the Washington Nationals (29-24) go up against Jake Arrieta (4-4, 3.18 ERA) and the Chicago Cubs (27-24) in the first of a four-game series at Nationals Park. The game gets underway at 7:05 p.m. ET on Thursday, Jun. 4 and will air on WGN, MASN and MLB Network.
Gonzalez is 3-1 with a 2.39 ERA against the Cubs in his career, and is up against a struggling Chicago offense that's hitting just .239 on the year. Bryce Harper (.333, 43 Rs, 18 HRs, 44 RBIs, 3 SBs) continued his strong season yesterday, going 2 for 4. In his career against the Nationals, Arrieta is 0-1 with a 5.81 ERA, 1.58 WHIP, and 29 strikeouts. Anthony Rizzo (.317, 29 Rs, 9 HRs, 31 RBIs, 10 SBs) went 1 for 3 yesterday with one run and one stolen base.
Washington, a -122 favorite, will look to capitalize at home against Chicago. The Over/Under (O/U) for the matchup is set at seven runs. The Nationals are in an interesting position this season. While they have a notable winning record in games where they're the favorite (25-16), their overall money line (-9) is less impressive. Washington has averaged 2.6 runs per game over the last 10 games, lower than its season average of 4.5.
On the other side, the Cubs have a record of 9-10 when they are the underdog and are +88 overall with the money line. Over the last 10 games, they were winless as the underdog with a 0-2 record and 4-6 SU. The Cubs have racked up 44 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 some of the most overpowering arms in baseball with an NL-high 8.9 strikeouts per game.
In their previous three games this season, the Nationals have a 2-1 record. This game will feature Arrieta (RHP) on the mound against the Nationals, who have a 21-20 record when they take on a right-handed starter. The left-handed Gonzalez will take the mound against the Cubs, who have a 4-4 record against lefty starters this season.
Predictions: SU Winner - CHC, O/U - Over
When leading after 7 innings, Washington is 14-11, while Chicago is 13-11.
The Cubs are coming into this game after allowing two walks during their last outing. The Nationals have a 7-11 record when opponents give up that many walks or fewer.
When they outhit their opponents, the Cubs are 16-3. The Nationals have a 20-1 record when outhitting opponents.
Ranking 22nd in runs, Chicago has earned 205 this season. Washington ranks sixth with 233 runs.
Ranking seventh, Washington is in the top 10 of the league in walks, notching 173 this season. Chicago ranks in the top five at third with 179.
The Nationals are 21-9 when they hit at least one home run. The Cubs perform similarly when they hit one or more homers with a 19-11 record.