It was a pitching duel of epic proportions last night as the Nationals‘ Stephen Strasburg struck out 10 Cubs batters, taking a no hitter into the sixth inning. Chicago’s Kyle Hendricks was arguably even better, giving up only 2 hits in 7 innings pitched. The Cubs were patient as returning champs are apt to do and waited for their opportunity with back to back two out singles by Kris Bryant and Anthony Rizzo. This has the Cubs up 1-0 with Jon Lester taking the mound for the MLB Predictions Cubs Nationals 10/7/17 Saturday afternoon.
Despite their bats being nonexistent Friday night, oddsmakers have made Washington -124 favorites in game two. 66% of the public agrees with that assessment despite the fact that Lester has the edge in experience, making his 20th career postseason start. The Nationals counter with Gio Gonzalez making just his fifth ever October start. There’s value in the Cubs experience at +114, and the total seems on the high end at 8.5.
Chicago was able to ride a cold-as-ice pitcher and big moments from their stars to win game one 3-0 in Washington. Perhaps more importantly, they were able to shut down Daniel Murphy (0-3, 1BB) who hit .529 against them two years ago during the NLCS with the Mets. Lester takes the mound for the 20th postseason start of his career. The lefty made two starts against Washington this year, allowing 4 total runs in 12.2 IP. Lester went 5-1 in September and has held Washington batters to just a .224 average in their careers.
The pressure is starting to tighten on Washington and manager Dusty Baker, compounded by the fact that pitcher Max Scherzer was pushed back a start as he recovers from a hamstring injury. The Nationals send Gio Gonzalez to the mound for his fifth career postseason start. Gonzalez got the call in last year’s NLDS, but gave up 3 ER in just 4.1 IP in a loss to the Dodgers. Gonzalez was stellar in his only start against the Cubs this year, giving up 1 ER in 6.0 IP. He lost 4 of his last 6 starts to close out the season, but has held Cubs batters to a .191 average in their careers.
MLB Predictions Cubs Nationals 10/7/17
Despite the fact that they have their ace on the mound Monday afternoon in Chicago, Washington needs the MLB Predictions Cubs Nationals 10/7/17 badly. What that actually might do though is put too much pressure on the team. The Cubs are playing with house money after snapping a 108 year championship drought last season and have the benefit of veteran experience with Lester on the bump. Chicago’s been in high tensity situations many times the past three years, and has the offensive firepower to attack a somewhat struggling Washington pitcher.
Pick: Chicago +114