Runs may be hard to come by in this one as Jason Hammel (4-0, 1.24 ERA) and the Chicago Cubs (22-6) go up against Gio Gonzalez (2-1, 1.15 ERA) and the Washington Nationals (19-10) in the third of a four-game series at Wrigley Field. The Cubs won the last game 8-6, extending a five-game winning streak. The game gets underway at 4:05 p.m. ET on Saturday, May. 7 and will air on FS1, CSCh and MASN.
In his last start, Hammel pitched 5.0 innings, allowing two runs, striking out three and walking one in a 7-2 victory over the Pirates. Anthony Rizzo (.257, 24 Rs, 10 HRs, 28 RBIs, 2 SBs) went 1 for 2 yesterday with two runs, one home run, and one RBI. The Nationals were victorious over the Royals 2-0 the last time Gonzalez pitched. He went 6.0 innings, allowing zero runs, striking out one and walking two. Daniel Murphy (.406, 19 Rs, 4 HRs, 17 RBIs, 1 SB) has been hitting the ball well for the Nationals, going 4 for 4 yesterday with two runs.
Oddsmakers have deemed this game a Cubs -130 matchup and the Over/Under (O/U) is unavailable at the moment.
The previous two games have all gone Chicago's way.
Predictions: SU Winner - CHC
When leading after seven innings, Chicago is 13-0, while Washington is 6-3.
The Nationals managed to give up five walks in their last game. They'll have to pick it up against the Cubs who are heading in with an 18-1 record against opponents who give up that many walks or more.
When they are outhit, the Cubs are 2-5. The Nationals have a 3-7 record when opponents outhit them.
Chicago ranks in the top half of the league when it comes to home runs, hitting 35 this season. Washington ranks in the top 10 at seventh with 37.
Ranking 18th, Washington is in the bottom half of the league in hits, notching 8.17 per game. Chicago ranks in the top 10 with 8.71.
Ranking 17th, Washington is in the bottom half of the league for its on-base plus slugging percentage (.723). Chicago ranks in the top five with an OPS of .807.
When the Nationals allow at least one home run, they are 9-7. When the Cubs allow one or more homers, they have a 10-3 record.