The Chicago Cubs and Washington Nationals will wrap up their three-game weekend set with a game featured on ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball. This will be the rubber match of the series as the two teams have split the first two games. The Cubs blasted the Nationals with a 14-6 victory in the series opener, while Washington responded with a 5-2 win on Saturday night.
The Cubs got off to a 2-7 start this season, but everything has been clicking for them since that point. Chicago sits in first place in the National League Central Division with a record of 26-17. Washington has not been as lucky this season, but perhaps they are starting to turn the corner a little bit. The Nationals come into the series finale with a 19-26 record but have won three of their last four games. The Chicago Cubs are -132 over the Washington Nationals on Sunday night.
Hendricks Takes the Mound For Chicago
Veteran right-hander Kyle Hendricks will be on the mound for the Cubs in this game, and that’s a good sign for Joe Maddon’s ballclub. Hendricks has gone at least eight innings in each of this last three starts and has allowed just one earned run in those 25 innings. For the season, he is just 3-4 with a 2.86 earned run average, but there is no doubt that he is one of the better pitchers in the National League.
Kris Bryant has been on an absolute tear of late as well, and he is a part of one of the most feared lineups in baseball. Bryant hit three home runs in the series opener on Friday night and has now blasted 11 long balls this season. Javier Baez and Willson Contreras have each hit 11 home runs as well, and both players are hitting over .321 so far this season. There aren’t many free outs in the Cubs lineup, and they can score runs in a hurry.
Soto Looks Like Next Big Star in D.C.
Nationals fans were disappointed this winter when Bryce Harper chose to leave the team and sign with the Philadelphia Phillies. Some of that disappointment has faded away with the emergence of Juan Soto as the next big star. Soto leads the team with a .364 on-base percentage and has also driven in a team-high 27 runs. There are still some holes in his game, but he is the big piece in the middle of the Nationals lineup.
Jeremy Hellickson will take the ball for the Nationals on Sunday night, and he needs to start turning things around. Hellickson is 2-2 with a whopping 6.00 earned run average this season and hasn’t gone more than five innings in each of his last three starts. If Hellickson can’t go deep into the game, then the Nationals’ beleaguered bullpen will be put to the test again. Washington gave up 11 runs in just three innings in the series opener.
Cubs Win Series Finale
Stephen Strasburg was able to shut down the Cubs lineup in game two of the series, but Jeremy Hellickson doesn’t have that kind of stuff. Chicago has a ton of depth in their lineup, and they will do plenty of damage in this game. With the way that Hendricks has pitched of late, all signs point to the Cubs winning this game. Bet the Chicago Cubs -132 over the Washington Nationals.
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