MLB Expert Picks: Cubs vs Nationals 06/28/17

MLB Picks and Parlays: Chicago continues Four-Game Set with Washington

by Matt Cash @MattCashCapper

Vegas Odds by Bovada
Cubs O/U – 8½
Nationals -168

Stephen Strasburg

Chicago Cubs are looking to regain the magic that led to them eventually hoisting the World Series trophy for the first time in 108 years. Last year they made it look so easy breaking out to an incredibly hot start and riding that momentum all the way to the trophy.

This year every time it seems like they’re about to take off, they fall back to Earth with a thud. The way the NL West is playing out, their best chance to defend their title will come from winning the NL Central. Luckily no team has separated itself from the pack as the Cubs find themselves a game back of the Brewers for the lead heading into Tuesday’s games.

Chicago is 14-12 in June and 6-3 in their last nine.

The offense has produced 4.79 RPG in June, good for eighth best in the National League. The pitching staff has a 3.58 ERA, good for third. That’s a marked improvement as the pitching which was so good last year, has really struggled for most of the year.

Washington Nationals has the difficult task of staying focused over the course of a 162-game schedule with such a dominant lead in the National League East. They are currently 8.5 games up over second-place Atlanta and are the only team in the division with a record above .500.

As such it’s not all that surprising that June has been an uneven month for them, with an 11-12 record heading into Tuesday’s games. One gets the sense they are somewhat coasting through the summer, until the games really start to count over the final eight weeks of the season.

They are 3-6 through their last nine. The offense is first scoring 5.92 RPG and the pitching sixth with a 4.46 ERA in June.

Jon Lackey (5-8 4.74 ERA) is 38-years old and that age is starting to show. But he’s had two solid starts in a row with two earned runs (three total) allowed in 12 innings of work. He lost last time as the Cubs were shut out 2-0 by the Marlins.

Stephen Strasburg (8-2, 3.57 ERA) had his second rough start in his past three outings. He gave up five runs in five innings in a 6-5 win over the Reds. He gave up four in the first before settling down and his ERA has jumped from 2.91 to 3.57 as a result of the runs allowed. But Washington’s offense is good enough to cover for the mistake as they won the last start and almost did the same when he allowed six runs in five innings, eventually falling 11-10 to the Braves.

 

Cash It In: Washington are -168 favorites and should be motivated to up their game against the champs. I like their chances to hit Lackey hard and for Strasburg to do enough to get the win. Nationals 8-3.

MLB Expert Picks and Parlays: Nats -1½ (+120) &  Over 8½

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