Kyle Hendricks (1-1, 4.14 ERA) and Jordan Zimmermann (4-2, 3.52 ERA) start in the second of a three-game series between the Chicago Cubs (24-20) and the Washington Nationals (27-18) at Wrigley Field. The Nationals won the last game 2-1 and Washington leads the series 1-0. Action begins at 7:05 p.m. ET on Tuesday, May. 26 and can be seen on MASN2, CSN-CHI and ESPN.
Hendricks pitched 9.0 innings in his most recent start, surrendering zero runs and striking out seven in a 3-0 win over the Padres. Kris Bryant (.282, 25 Rs, 6 HRs, 30 RBIs, 5 SBs) continued his strong play yesterday, going 2 for 3 with one run, one home run, and one RBI. Against the Cubs, Zimmermann is 1-4 with a 4.81 ERA, 1.30 WHIP, and 43 strikeouts. Bryce Harper (.333, 39 Rs, 16 HRs, 41 RBIs, 2 SBs) went 1 for 3 yesterday.
Washington is a slim -115 favorite over Chicago. The Cubs have an overall money line of +250 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 1.20 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.
As for their opponent, Washington is coming in with an overall money line of +304 and an impressive record of 23-13 as the favorite. They played solid baseball as the favorite over their last 10 games with an 8-1 record, and an 8-2 record SU. Offensively, they average 4.8 runs per game, which is tops in the NL. The Nationals have 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 Nationals have the edge in the season series, 1-0. The Cubs have a 20-16 record against right-handed starting pitchers on the year, which is what they'll be facing when Zimmermann takes the mound. Hendricks (RHP) will be on the hill against the Nationals, who have a 20-15 record against right-handed starting pitchers.
Predictions: SU Winner - WSH
In their last game, the Nationals won by a margin of one run. The Cubs are 12-10 in one-run games. The Nationals have a 10-4 record in close games.
When the Nationals play into extra innings, they have a 3-1 record. The Cubs are 5-2 when their games exceed nine innings.
The Nationals are coming into this game after allowing one walk during their last outing. The Cubs have a 1-5 record when opponents give up that many walks or fewer.
When they are outhit, the Nationals are 6-17. The Cubs have a 6-16 record when opponents outhit them.
Chicago ranks in the top half of the league at 12th when it comes to home runs, hitting 44 this season. Washington ranks in the top 10 at seventh with 50.
Ranking 11th, Chicago is in the top half of the league in hits, notching 8.33 per game. Washington ranks in the top 10 at sixth with 8.73.
Ranking 16th, Chicago is in the bottom half of the league for its on-base plus slugging percentage (.705). Washington ranks in the top five at fifth with an OPS of .742.
The Nationals are 8-9 in games where they allow one or more home runs. The Cubs are 14-14 when they allow at least one homer.