The completely desperate Washington Nationals will hand the ball to right-hander Tanner Roark in order to save their season and force a Game 5 when they take on the MLB Odds favorite Chicago Cubs in Game 4 of their National League Divisional Series matchup on Wednesday afternoon.
The Cubs took a 2-1 series lead by getting past the Nats and staff ace Max Scherzer 2-1 on Monday. Now, let’s find out if the lovable Cubbies can close out this series or whether the Nationals can live to fight another day. The total is set at 7.5 of this one, so let’s cross fingers hoping to see some fireworks!
*Updated on October 11th
Cubs are the MLB Odds Favorite for NLDS Game 4 vs. Nationals
Here is today’s #Cubs starting lineup.
— Chicago Cubs (@Cubs) 10 de octubre de 2017
- When: Wednesday, October 11, 4:08 PM ET
- Where: Wrigley Field
- TV: TBS
- Radio: 106.7 The Fan (Washington) / 670 The Score (Chicago)
- Live Stream: MLB.tv
- MLB Odds: Chicago Cubs -165 / Washington Nationals +145
Recent Head to Head Statistics (Last 10 Games)
- Runs: Nationals 4.60 / Cubs 3.60
- Hits: Nationals 7.30 / Cubs 6.50
- Walks: Nationals 3.30 / Cubs 3.10
- Strike Outs: Nationals 7.90 / Cubs 10.10
Washington Nationals – Tanner Roark – R (13-11, 4.67 ERA)
Tanner Roark was very solid in the second half of the season (3.90 ERA, .223 BA against) as opposed to the first half (5.27, .278). However, the veteran right-hander comes into this postseason start off a string of mediocre performances after giving up two runs in one inning of relief against Pittsburgh on Oct. 1 and getting smacked around for six earned runs on seven hits in 4.2 innings of a 7-5 loss against Philadelphia in his start just prior to that.
Roark also gave up two earned runs on seven hits and three walks in his only career postseason start in 4.1 innings of last season’s NLDS matchup against the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Chicago Cubs – Jake Arrieta – R – (14-10, 3.53 ERA, 163 K)
Arrieta has been dealing with pain in his right hamstring, which is why he’s been pushed back to make this Game 4 start. The 2015 NL Cy Young winner gave up three earned runs in two of his final three regular season starts, but prior to that, limited the opposition to two runs or less in each of his previous seven starts while tossing at least six innings in six of those outings.
Why consider the Nationals MLB Odds?
The Washington Nationals are saying all the right things heading into game 4 after suffering a heartbreaking loss in game 3 despite the fact that Max Scherzer pitched a fine game in limiting the Cubs one earned run in 6.1 innings.
“We’ve won two games in a row before; it’s not a record,” Nationals third baseman Ryan Zimmerman said. “It’s not an ideal situation to be in; obviously, I’d rather be up 2-1. It’s playoff baseball. We’ll come back out tomorrow, play a game, hopefully, come out on top and go home and have an exciting Game 5.”
“We have all the confidence in the world in Tanner,” Nationals catcher Matt Wieters said. “We’ve pitched the ball and thrown the ball great; we just have to score some runs and find some holes.”
The Nationals know they’re in a must-win situation, but they say they’re not overwhelmed.
“It’s going to be fun,” Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper said. “I’m looking forward to it. I think everyone on our team is, too. Like Zim said, we’ve won two before. We’ve faced elimination before as well. I look forward to going out there.”
Why consider the Cubs MLB Odds?
The fact of the matter is that it is now crystal clear that Chicago is the better team, leading me to believe they’ll close out the Nationals in Game 4.
“I wouldn’t use the word urgency,” Cubs third baseman Kris Bryant said. “One game at a time, all that stuff, I still believe in that. I believe everybody here believes in that. We’ve got a good manager leading the way. It is nice to get the first win at home and use home-field advantage to your advantage. It would be nice [to clinch Tuesday]. I can’t wait to see Jake [Arrieta] out there tomorrow. We know what he does in the postseason. It’s going to be fun.”
Arrieta will be a free agent after the season and wants to enjoy the moment in case this is his final season with the Cubs.
“Just trying to take everything in, look around a little bit more,” Arrieta said. “Trying to kind of capture some mental images of Wrigley and the fan base and my teammates, and just to try and remember as much as I can about these last couple weeks if it’s my last time in this uniform.”
Latest MLB Betting Trends for NLDS Game 4
- Nationals are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games
- Nationals are 1-4 SU in their last 5 games
- The total has gone UNDER in 4 of Washington’s last 6 games
- Cubs are 8-3 ATS in their last 11 games
- Cubs are 17-5 SU in their last 22 games
- The total has gone UNDER in 12 of Chi Cubs’s last 18 games
Expert Final Analysis & Score Prediction
There’s no sense in me beating around the bush since I’m fully expecting Chicago to close out Washington in Game 4. The Nats are just 2-5 in their last seven games against a team with a winning record, 1-4 in their last five games overall and 2-6 in their last eight road dates against the Cubs.
On the flip side of the coin, Chicago is a perfect 5-0 in their last five divisional home playoff games, 4-0 in their last four home games overall and 8-2 in their last 10 divisional playoff games overall, not to mention 13-5 in Jake Arrieta’s last 18 starts against a team from the NL East. The Cubs win to advance to the NLCS opposite the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Pick & Score: Washington Nationals 3 – Chicago Cubs 6