Last Updated: 2017-10-09
The NLDS matchup between the Nationals and Cubs proceeds to Chicago for the 3rd game of the series. Can Washington ride on the momentum of their game 2 win, or will the reigning champs be able to close it out in the next 2 games?
Max Scherzer will be slated to start for the Nationals. He is 16-6 with a 2.51 ERA (3rd at MLB) and 12.0 SO9 (3rd at MLB) in 31 starts during the regular season. Scherzer leads the NL in complete games (2, tied with 3 others), SO (268), WHIP (0.90), and H9 (5.7). Other than that, in the entire MLB, he is 4th in WAR, 2nd in WAR among all pitchers, 10th in wins, 2nd in walks and hits allowed per IP, 6th in SO/base on balls, 3rd in adjusted ERA, 4th in FIP, 2nd in adjusted pitching runs, and 2nd in adjusted pitching wins. He is 3-1 in 6 career starts against CHC, putting up a 2.92 ERA, 0.97 WHIP, and 12.4 SO9, as well as letting only a line of .195/.267/.391 for an OPS of .658. The 5-time All-Star won his lone appearance against his team’s series opponents, dishing 6 K in 6 IP, allowing 2 hits and a run. He has compiled a total of 74 2/3 innings with a 3.74 ERA in the playoffs. Last time he pitched in the postseason, the reigning NL Cy Young award winner was on the mound for 12 innings in 2 games against the Los Angeles Dodgers at the 2016 NLDS, allowing a total of 10 hits, 5 runs, and 2 walks, while throwing 12 strikeouts. Both of those starts turned out to be defeats, although he had a better showing in the 2nd of his starts (6 IP, 1 ER).
José Quintana will get the nod for the Cubs in this engagement. For 2017, he logged an 11-11 record in 32 starts, giving him a 4.15 ERA, 1.22 WHIP, and 9.9 SO9, having thrown 207 SO in 188 2/3 IP. In 14 starts with his current team, Quintana is 7-3 with a 3.74 ERA, 1.10 WHIP, and 10.5 SO9, throwing 7 scoreless innings in his club debut. This is his 1st time to play this deep in October, as well as the 1st opportunity to take on the Nats.
The contest at Wrigley Field will begin at 4:08 PM EST and can be seen on TBS.
Washington Nationals at Chicago Cubs
Spread: Washington Nationals -1.5 (+130) at 5Dimes Sportsbook.
Moneyline: Washington Nationals -121, Chicago Cubs +111
Total: Over 7.5 (-120), Under 7.5 (+100)
After getting shut out in the 1st meeting, the Nationals recovered and went to notch 6 runs the following day. Howie Kendrick is batting .500 and has 2 RBI, while Adam Lind has a .222 BA in 9 AB, off Quintana.
Scherzer left his last outing with a right hamstring cramp but should be in full health in this encounter. He has highs and lows against Cubs batters in general, as Ben Zobrist is only hitting a .278 BA, although the infielder has 3 HR and 6 RBI against him; Jason Heyward is batting .364; Kris Bryant has a .100 BA but has 1 RBI; and Anthony Rizzo is .300 with a 1 HR and 1 RBI. In addition, Tommy La Stella and Addison Russel have combined for 2 HR and 3 RBI on the 33-year old righty.
The Cubs have scored 3 runs in both games, 1 of which ended in victory. They might find it hard to get past Scherzer, but they will try their hardest to do so, so that them stealing 1 on the road would not be put into naught.
Heyward came in as a reliever at the 7th inning of game 2, but did not get to step on the batter’s box. He was hit by a pitch back on game 1, his only significant PA so far in this series.
Quintana undergoes a tough test in his career, whether if the Cubs taking him with weeks to spare before the trade deadline was the right choice. A victory, with the help of ample run support courtesy of Chicago’s order, would be a big boost for this young pitcher.
Washington Nationals at Chicago Cubs Betting Trends and Prediction
The battle on the mound would mean this would be a war of attrition between pitcher and batter. The winner would be the 1 that could get a lucky string of hits or the squad whose hurler (and bullpen) would have his wits with him much longer.
A low-scoring affair could potentially favor Chicago. In their last 10 meetings, 3 of the Cubs’ 4 wins finished under, while Washington’s victories within that span tend to go over. Choosing under is a safe proposition, and even if the said trend above augurs a Chicago win, there is still the probability that the Nationals might steal this 1 and reclaim home-field advantage in the series.
My Pick: Under 7.5 (+100)
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