MLB Picks Today: Nationals at Cubs NLDS Game 3
Can Washington Take Lead In Series Behind Scherzer?
After a terrible start to their postseason, losing in Game 1 at home, the Nationals know they need to return the favor if they have any hope of moving on to the NLCS.
They seemed dead in the water in Game 2, trailing 3-1 in the 8th inning, in what looked like would be a similar result to Game 1, but the Washington offense turned on in the bottom of the frame, scoring five runs to give the Nats a split in the series.
Because of their ace starter, the NL East champs are coming into this one as slight away favorites, but markets have moved a tiny bit towards the Cubbies.
We got Game 2 wrong on Saturday, as seen here, but picked up the other National League game to help us break even on the day. After breaking even again yesterday with the AL games, our record stands at 7-3 this postseason. Stick with us to get more winners!
The Cubs know they let a golden opportunity fade after letting the Nationals tie up the series with that five run 8th inning in Game 2. While Washington does have home field in the series, Chicago took some bite out of them by winning that first game.
As long as the defending champs don't start looking ahead to the ALCS, they should be able to take this one at Wrigley Field.
Max Scherzer clearly isn't at 100% even though he tells the media he is, but even if he is, one wrong move could aggravate his injury. It's not worth backing that.
Quintana is also a wild card in this situation, having never faced the Nats or played in the postseason, but he isn't dealing with an injury, and should be able to hold down the fort at home. The Cubs are 6-0 in his last 6 home starts.
The Nationals are 2-5 in their last 7 at Wrigley Field.
Take the Chicago Cubs at +110 at Sports Interaction
Nationals at Cubs NLDS Game 3
Bryce Harper and Ryan Zimmerman saved the Washington Nationals in Game 2, with home runs that rallied their club to win 6-3 in what looked to be another loss going into the bottom of the 8th inning. Despite Zimmerman's heroics, he's only 9 for 79 (.114) with 23 SO against the Cubs in the last three years, and before that Game 2 bomb, hasn't homered against them since 2013.
Max Scherzer (16-6, 2.51 ERA) was set to start in Game 1, but because of a hamstring injury he sustained in his last start on Sept. 30, he was given a few extra days to heal. The NL Cy Young Award winner is confident in his abilities and aims to throw at least 100 pitches when he takes the mound on Monday.
The 33-year-old ended the season strong, going 2-0 with a 1.65 ERA in his last three starts. Scherzer's only start against the Cubs this season saw him go 1-0, allowing one run in six innings. His career record against Chicago is 3-1 with a 2.92 ERA in six starts.
It's his postseason record that's concerning, having gone 0-3 in his last 5 playoff starts.
The Chicago Cubs played well in Game 2, despite the loss, but the team knows they can't let it be a momentum changer. Scherzer definitely has the skill to shut down this team, but manager Joe Maddon will add another lefty to his batting lineup to gain a bit of an edge.
Kris Bryant has played well this series, going 3 for 8 including a double and RBI, but is only 1 for 10 with seven strikeouts against Scherzer.
Because Jose Quintana (11-11, 4.15 ERA) was just acquired from the American League White Sox, he's never faced the Nationals before, so there aren't any solid numbers to work with. Since coming over from the Cubs' rivals though, he's 7-3 with a 3.74 ERA in 14 starts.
The 28-year-old ended the season well also, posting a 2.82 ERA in his last six, all of which Chicago won. Quintana has never played a postseason game, so he should be ready for his debut here.
Do you agree with our pick? Or will Scherzer be up to the task? Let us know what you think in the comment section below and be sure to share and keep following us for more winning picks. The MLB postseason is just getting started!
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