MLB Picks Today: Cubs at Nationals NLDS Game 1
Defending Champs Chicago Set To Face Nationals
Midway through the season, the Cubs weren't impressing anyone, and there were legitimate concerns they wouldn't win the division, and might even miss the Wild Card. That all changed in the 2nd half, as the Cubs showed what they were capable of in offense, and bolstered an already improving pitching rotation with newly acquired Jose Quintana. Their 92 wins this season aren't as good as the Nationals' 97, but Chicago's not a team that's just 'lucky to be here'.
This isn't a good spot for the Cubs, even though they might look enticing at that large dog price. Trea Turner will want to make an impact here against the team that caused him to miss 51 games this season, despite his hushed tones with the media.
Strasburg's numbers against Chicago are just a bit better than Hendricks' numbers against the Nats, plus Washington is 5-1 in Strasburg's last 6 against them.
The line is being bet down, so getting the Nats at this price is a steal. Sure, trends say they'll probably lose the series, but take them for this game.
Take the Washington Nationals at -140 at BODOG
Cubs at Nationals NLDS Game 1
Defending their World Series title means a lot to the Chicago Cubs.
If they can successfully do it, they'll be the first since the 2000 Yankees, who also won in 1998 and 1999. One thing the Cubs have going for them is Jason Heyward's numbers against Stephen Strasburg, having gone 15 for 37 against him with 4 doubles and a home run. After a 108 year drought, it'd truly be something to win the title two years in a row.
Kyle Hendricks (7-5, 3.03 ERA), who started in Game 1 of the World Series last season, gets the nod tonight. After a shaky first half, he came back from a hand injury stronger than ever.
The righty led the NL in ERA (2.19) since coming back, and in 10 of those 13 starts, he only allowed two of fewer runs. Against the Nats, the 27-year-old is 2-2 with a 2.67 ERA in 5 starts.
His postseason record is 1-1 with a 2.38 ERA in 7 starts.
The Washington Nationals have a lot to prove, as they haven't had the best time in the postseason. They have won their division four times in 2012 and from 2015 onwards, but couldn't get out of the first round. The Cards, Giants, and Dodgers knocked them out.
Is it the Cubbies turn? Out of the 7 games Washington's had with Chicago this year, they won 4 and hope to improve that here. They haven't won a postseason series since 1981, back when they were still in Montreal. Probably just as bad as the Cubs' former World Series drought, because this one is preventing them from getting out of the first round.
Coming off the disabled list in August, Stephen Strasburg (15-4, 2.52 ERA) has been excellent for the Nats. The 29-year-old hasn't allowed an earned run in 6 of his 8 starts since he returned, and he went 6-1 with a stunning 0.86 ERA, striking out 76 in 62.2 innings. Against the Cubs, he's 1-1 with a 2.08 ERA in 5 starts. He hasn't had much postseason experience though, only facing the Giants in the NLDS in 2014, where he allowed 2 runs, 1 of which was earned, over 5 innings in a loss.
Do you agree with our pick? Don't forget to like and share this article and let us know if you think the Cubbies will get rocked, or if the Nats will continue their losing ways in the first round!
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