Jon Lester (4-2, 3.56 ERA) and Max Scherzer (5-3, 1.67 ERA) start in the last of a three-game series between the Chicago Cubs (25-20) and the Washington Nationals (27-19) at Wrigley Field. The Cubs won the last game 3-2 and the series is currently tied 1-1. Action begins at 8:05 p.m. ET on Wednesday, May. 27 and can be seen on MASN2, CSN-CHI+ and MLB Net.
Lester is 2-0 with a 3.32 ERA in his appearances against the Nationals, but goes up against a good Washington offense which is batting .256 this season. Anthony Rizzo (.315, 27 Rs, 9 HRs, 29 RBIs, 9 SBs) went 1 for 3 yesterday. Against the Cubs, Scherzer is 0-0 with a 2.25 ERA, 1.33 WHIP, and 14 strikeouts. Denard Span (.322, 22 Rs, 5 HRs, 15 RBIs, 3 SBs) has been successful at the plate, going 2 for 4 yesterday with one run, one home run, and one RBI.
Washington takes on Chicago as a -120 favorite. The Over/Under (O/U) for the matchup is currently not available. The Cubs have an overall money line of +138 and a record as the underdog of 9-8. Chicago is one of the best in the MLB in terms of steals, swiping 42 bases. Crossing over to the pitching staff, the Cubs are the fifth-best team in the league at limiting hits and walks to their opponents, recording a WHIP of 1.19 so far this season. Opponents have consistently been struck out by the Cubs, who rank second in the NL in strikeouts per game with 8.8.
In the other locker room, Washington is coming in with an overall money line of +406 and an impressive record of 23-13 as the favorite. They played solid baseball as the favorite over their last 10 games with a 7-1 record, and an 8-2 record SU. Offensively, they average 4.8 runs per game, which is tops in the NL. The Nationals have a dynamic offense, ranking fifth in the league with 139 extra base hits. The Nationals have established a reputation of overwhelming hitters with an NL-best 8.1 strikeouts per road game, making them one of the top five teams in the league.
The Cubs have a 20-17 record against right-handed starting pitchers on the year, which is what they'll be facing when Scherzer takes the mound. Lester (LHP) will be on the hill against the Nationals, who have a very good 7-3 record against left-handed starting pitchers.
Predictions: SU Winner - WSH
In their last game, the Nationals lost by a margin of one run. The Cubs are 13-10 in one-run games. The Nationals have a 10-5 record in close games.
The Nationals are 3-1 in games that go into extra innings. Meanwhile, the Cubs are 5-2 in such matchups.
The Nationals are coming off of a weak pitching game where they recorded five strikeouts. The Cubs have a record of 5-1 when opponents' pitchers have that many strikeouts or fewer.
When they outhit their opponents, the Cubs are 14-3. The Nationals have an 18-1 record when outhitting opponents.
Ranking 15th, Chicago is in the top half of the league in runs, scoring 189 this season. Washington ranks in the top five at second with 216.
Ranking eighth, Washington is in the top 10 of the league in walks, notching 152 this season. Chicago ranks in the top five at third with 160.
When the Cubs hit at least one home run, they are 18-9, well-matched with the Nationals who are 20-8 when hitting one or more homers.