The last time the Cubs and Nationals played was a wild Game 5 of last year’s NLDS, won by Chicago in D.C. thanks to an unbelievable fifth inning. The two open a three-game set at Wrigley on Friday afternoon with the Cubs as MLB betting favorites.
How to Bet Nationals vs Cubs MLB Odds & Game Info
Come for the tater, stay for the diving catch. pic.twitter.com/IWouQoLDxu
— Washington Nationals (@Nationals) 9 de agosto de 2018
- When: Friday, 2:20 PM ET
- Where: Wrigley Field, Chicago
- Probable pitchers (away/home): Jeremy Hellickson/Kyle Hendricks
- TV: MLB Network
- Stream: MLB.tv
- Radio: TuneIn
- MLB Odds: Chicago Cubs -155 / Washington Nationals +135 (Total TBA)
Why Bet on Washington?
The Nats are at a bit of a disadvantage here as they closed out a series Thursday at home vs. Atlanta, winning to split the four-game split. Chicago was off Thursday.
Washington already is short-handed in the bullpen. Closer Sean Doolittle has been out for weeks but did throw off flat ground without a walking boot on Wednesday. Doolittle told reporters that he was encouraged by the workout, but he still has many hurdles to clear and there’s not a mapped-out timetable for his return at this point.
Kelvin Herrera had taken his role as closer, but Herrera was placed on the 10-day disabled list with a right rotator cuff impingement on Wednesday. He suffered the injury in a ninth-inning appearance Tuesday night against the Braves and is likely looking at a lengthy absence. Ryan Madson will close for now.
Meanwhile, Bryce Harper (leg) was scratched from the Nationals’ lineup Thursday against the Braves. Harper got hit on the leg by a pitch on Wednesday night, after slugging his 28th home run of the year in the bottom of the sixth. He still has a bit of lingering soreness. It’s nothing serious and probably just because Washington had a day game after a night one. Expect Harper Friday. He ranks in the National League in runs (T4th, 15), home runs (T8th, 5) and doubles (T9th, 6) since the All-Star break.
Harper has hit safely in seven of his last nine games, posting multi-hit efforts in six of the nine, while eight (5 2B, 3 HR) of his 13 hits have gone for extra bases.
Jeremy Hellickson (5-2, 3.56) is on the mound. Hellickson gave up two runs in 5 2/3 innings and earned a win over the Reds on Saturday in game two of a doubleheader. Both runs came on solo dingers, the first by Jose Peraza leading off the ballgame, and the second by Eugenio Suarez in the fourth frame. Hellickson allowed four hits total without issuing a walk and striking out three while falling one out short of a quality start. Hellickson is 1-1 with a 7.59 ERA in two career starts vs. the Cubs.
Why Bet on Chicago?
The Cubs took two of three in Kansas City to open this week but were routed 9-0 in Wednesday’s finale. Addison Russell went 0-for-3 on Wednesday to drop his OPS under .700 for the first time since May 13. Russell followed a bad first six weeks with a strong two-month run through the All-Star break. However, since play resumed to begin the second half, he’s just 13-for-61 with no homers and two RBI in 18 games.
Ben Zobrist didn’t play Wednesday. Zobrist was pulled from Tuesday night’s win over the Royals after experiencing tightness in his left hip, but it’s not serious and he should start somewhere (second or outfield) on Friday. Zobrist has batted .451 (23-for-51) since the All-Star Break, second best in the National League (Milwaukee’s Christian Yelich, .453). Zobrist’s .483 on-base percentage since the Break is third best in the league. Zobrist is fifth in the N.L. with a .313 average overall, while Albert Almora Jr. (.300) and Javier Báez (.300) are tied for ninth.
Chicago’s Kyle Hendricks (8-9, 4.07) picked up the win Saturday against the Padres, as he allowed four runs over 5.2 innings. He gave up five hits and struck out seven. Hendricks cruised through the first three innings but ran into some trouble in the fourth, as he allowed three runs in the frame, including one on a home run by Austin Hedges. However, a five-run second inning by the Cubs gave the righty all the support he would need to grab the win. Hendricks has struck out at least seven batters in each of his past three outings and is feeling confident about his curveball, which catcher Willson Contreras keeps encouraging him to use.
Hendricks has gone 2-2 with a 2.67 ERA (9 ER/30.1 IP) in five career starts in the regular season against Washington. He has lost each of his last two regular season starts. Hendricks has a 1.80 ERA (4 ER/20.0 IP) in three career starts against Washington at Wrigley Field.
Latest MLB Betting Trends
- Nationals are 6-15 in their last 21 road games vs. a right-handed starter
- Nationals are 3-10 in their last 13 vs. a team with a winning record
- Under is 4-1 in Hendricks’ last 5 starts vs. Nationals
- Cubs are 5-2 in Hendricks’ last 7 starts vs. Nationals
- Washington is 4-2 ATS in its last 6 games on the road
- Washington is 7-3 SU in its last 10 games
- The total has gone UNDER in 11 of Washington’s last 16 games on the road
- Chicago is 2-5 ATS in its last 7 games
- Chicago is 4-2 SU in its last 6 games
- The total has gone UNDER in 4 of Chicago’s last 5 games
Nationals vs Cubs MLB Betting Prediction
Hendricks keeps up his home winning ways vs. Washington.