Nationals vs Cubs MLB Playoff Predictions - NLDS Game 5
Will Nationals Break Postseason 'Curse'?
That extra day off because of rain could be the deciding factor in this series. It gave Stephen Strasburg an opportunity to rest and get the start on Wednesday, where he had a dominant performance, blanking the Cubs in seven innings. Had Roark gotten the start, there's no telling what the final result could have been.
So now we get ready for Game 5 in the nation's capital. We had a pick for this game, but it was voided because of the postponement and pitching change. We did have a correct pick for Game 5 of the Yankees and Indians series, so that brings our record to 10-4.
The Cubs opened as small away favorites, but money has come in on the Nationals. They're currently priced around even, but some shops have them as small home faves.
The Cubs opened as small favorites here, but is it a good idea to back them here? They are the defending champs, but that's as far as it goes, and it's clear they aren't the same team they were during their Championship run.
With only eight runs in four games, their offense is most likely to struggle here again. They are 0-5 in their last 5 against a lefty and 0-7 in their last 7 against a lefty on the road. That coupled with their inability to produce runs in any situation is a recipe for disaster.
Hendricks is their only beacon of hope, and he'll have to go deep in this one. If this offensive trend continues, even if the Hendricks pitches a good seven innings, the Nats will only need a couple of runs to seal this one up.
On the RL, Washington can keep it close and we'll still get the win. Cubbie runs are at a premium in this series, and in this spot, we don't see them winning by more than a run.
Pick: Washington Nationals +1.5 (-180) at Sports Interaction
Nationals vs Cubs NLDS Game 5
The Chicago Cubs were ready to go on Tuesday against Tanner Roark, but the rain had other ideas, and now they find themselves facing elimination in a final Game 5.
The pressure will be on, but this is the same team that was down 3-1 in the World Series last season and came back big to win it all in historic fashion.
Their problem right now, and for the whole series, has been offense. The Nationals cleaned up that mess last game, but the Cubs are still faltering. Kris Bryant is just 3 for 15 with 9 SO in the series. The whole team has only scores eight runs in their four games.
Kyle Hendricks (1-0, 0.00 ERA) will look to repeat his performance in Game 1, where he allowed no runs and only two hits in seven innings, striking out six. Including that win, the 27-year-old is 2-2 in five starts against Washington. This season, the righty is 1-1 with a 1.93 ERA against them.
The NL Central champs couldn't ask for a calmer individual. Hendricks has clinched wins for them in the NLCS against the Dodgers, and in Game 7 of the World Series, both last season. His postseason record stands at 2-1 with a 1.98 ERA in eight starts.
Could this be the year they break the curse? The Washington Nationals haven't won a postseason series since 1981, when they were still the Montreal Expos. This could be the year though. It looks like even the weather is rooting for them.
The Nationals seem to have fixed their offensive troubles in Game 4, and look for that trend to continue. The Cubs are still staggering in that department, and with a Nationals' bullpen that's fully rested, the Cubs could be in major trouble here. Max Scherzer will also be available out of the pen.
Gio Gonzalez (0-0, 5.40 ERA) was lucky to only get a no-decision in his last outing in Game 2. The lefty allowed three runs over five innings. Washington went on to win that game late though, evening up the series. The Nationals are 1-4 in his last 5 starts against the Cubs though.
Manager Dusty Baker hasn't confirmed Gonzalez will start. It might also be Roark, but with the extra day's rest, Gonzalez looks like the prime candidate. Roark hasn't started since Sept. 27, where he ended the season giving up eight runs over 5.2 innings in his last two appearances.
In each of their three previous postseason appearances, the Nats haven't made it out of the NLDS.
Do you agree with our pick? Or will Hendricks repeat his previous performance? Let us know what you think in the comment section below, and be sure to share and follow us for more MLB postseason picks!
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