The Chicago Cubs and Washington Nationals will wrap up their three-game series on Sunday night. The Cubs defeated the Nationals in very exciting series opener, before the Nationals blew out the Cubs on Saturday, winning by a score of 9-4. Runs may be at a premium on Sunday night with a pair of aces on the mound.
The Chicago Cubs still hold the best record in the National League, but the Brewers are just two games behind them in the Central Division. The Nationals are still in third place in the National League East, but are just 5.5 games back and are within striking distance. This series is a rematch of the 2017 NLDS, which the Cubs won in five games. The Nationals are -140 over the Cubs on Sunday night.
Scherzer Makes Start For Nationals
Reigning Cy Young Award winner, Max Scherzer will make the start for the Nationals on Sunday night. Scherzer has won the last two Cy Young Awards in the National League and is making a solid case for winning his third straight. The hard-throwing right-hander is 15-5 with a 2.28 earned run average through 24 starts this season. He will look to get some revenge on the Cubs after struggling in game 5 of the NLDS last season.
Ryan Zimmerman provided the power for the Nationals on Saturday afternoon. He blasted a pair of home runs off of Jon Lester to lead Washington to the victory. All-Star Bryce Harper has been on fire since the All-Star break and has led his team right back into the playoff race. His 28 homers and 71 RBI’s lead the team. Washington faces a tough challenge against Cole Hamels on Sunday night.
Cubs Offense Lacking Power
The Chicago Cubs offense can score runs with the best of them, but they haven’t hit a ton of home runs this season. The Cubs have hit just 121 homers as a team, which ranks in the bottom third of Major League Baseball. One player who hasn’t lacked power this season is Javier Baez. The All-Star second baseman has blasted 25 homers and driven in 89 runs to lead the Cubs this season.
The Cubs acquired left hander Cole Hamels before the trade deadline in an effort to fix their starting rotation. Hamels has been terrific in his two starts with the Cubs, winning both games and giving up just a single run. The Cubs will need Hamels to be at his best on Sunday night if they are going to win the series finale.
Nationals Win Series Finale
The Cubs have been very inconsistent since the All-Star break, and they can’t seem to break away from the pack in the National League. Their offense is great at taking advantage of mistakes by opposing pitchers, but Scherzer won’t make many on Sunday night. Look for the Cubs offense to struggle in this game.
Washington needs every win they can get as they try to climb back into the playoff race. The Nationals are starting to get healthy, and their offense is starting to be productive. Look for Washington to score enough runs to support Scherzer and pick up the win on Sunday night. Bet the Nationals -140 to beat the Cubs on ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball.
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