The Cubs and Nats have split the first two games of their weekend series in DC. How are we betting Saturday's contest? Find our free MLB pick inside this preview.
Cubs-Nats Saturday Betting Odds
As of this writing the MLB odds market was holding off on lining today's game, because Washington was giving rookie righty Joe Ross his first ML start today, against Chicago veteran Jason Hammel.
Chicago took the opener of this series Thursday night 2-1, while Washington won Friday night 7-5. The victory snapped a three-game losing streak for the Nationals, while the Cubbies have lost five of their last eight.
Chicago has also played eight UNDERS in its last 11 games, in part because it's been held to three runs or fewer eight times during that span.
Washington is 9-5-1 on the UNDERS over its last 16 games, because it's been held to three runs or less 12 times during that span.
The Nats now lead the season series with the Cubs three games to two, with the UNDERS going 4-1.
Ross will be making his ML debut today. The former first-round draft choice is 17-20 with a 3.74 ERA in parts of five Minor League seasons, and 2-2/2.81 at Double-A Harrisburg this spring. He gets the call after skipping Triple-A.
Hammel (4-2, 2.82) is four for his last five on quality starts. Last time out he held Miami to one run through 6 2/3 innings, with 11 strikeouts, and over his last five outings he's allowed eight earned runs through 35 2/3 innings. Chicago has won three of Hammel's last five starts.
Last year Hammel started twice against Washington, giving up four runs through 12 1/3 innings, with 13 strikeouts. The Cubs won both those games.
Saturday's Batting Splits
Washington ranks seventh in the Majors this season with a .323 team OBP against right-handed pitching, while Chicago ranks 20th with a .308 OBP vs. righties.
Cubs-Nats Free Picks
Washington is a bit banged up at the moment, down two lineup regulars, and Hammel has been tough recently. We like the Cubbies today. Also, both teams are trending UNDER as of late, and as for this MLB pick, we expect that lean to continue.
MLB Picks: Chicago and UNDER at BetOnline