Mining the Diamond: Nats' Scherzer Ready to Deliver a Win at Cubs in NLDS Game 3

Swinging Johnson

Monday, October 9, 2017 3:05 PM UTC

Monday, Oct. 9, 2017 3:05 PM UTC

Mining the Diamond has won three of four MLB picks in the postseason as we now focus on Monday afternoon's Game 3 contest between the Nationals and Cubs at Wrigley. Let’s start the week off right with a winner in this NLDS showdown.

Nationals (98-66, +4.1 Units) at Cubs (93-71, -11.4 Units)
  • Chicago is 32-33 (-9.6 Units) when playing against a team with a winning record this season.
  • Chicago is 16-23 (-18.5 Units) in home games in October games over their last 39 games.
  • Chicago is 37-36 (-20.7 Units) in day games this season.
  • Washington is 33-17 (+14.5 Units) in road games after a win this season.
  • Washington is 25-15 (+10.8 Units) on the road when the money line is +125 to -125 this season.
  • Washington’s starter Max Scherzer’s team record is 26-6 (+15.2 Units) in road games after a win over the last three seasons.

The Nationals knotted the series on Saturday with a 6-3 win after dropping the opener 3-0 and must now travel to the Windy City in this best-of-five series. Washington will trot out Max Scherzer this afternoon at Wrigley, where he has a 3-1 career mark when starting against the Cubs with an ERA of 2.92 and a WHIP of 0.97. Scherzer has been brilliant this season with a 16-6 record and a 2.51 ERA complemented by a 0.90 WHIP. Over his last three starts, he is 2-0 with a 1.65 ERA and a 0.73 WHIP. All dazzling numbers to be sure as he stares down the barrel of a Cubs’ lineup that has somewhat struggled recently, having averaged four runs per game over their last seven contests.

Jose Quintana takes the hill for the Cubs, where he has a 1-0 record with a 3.26 ERA over his last three. However, his last performance was disappointing when he was chased during the fifth inning of play after surrendering four runs to the Reds in what ultimately resulted in a 5-4 win for Chicago. Quintana has not been as good at home as he has been on the road with a 6-4 mark and a 4.94 ERA at Wrigley. This will be the first time in his career he has faced the Nationals.

The MLB odds slightly favor the Nats in this one, and I am somewhat surprised we are getting such a low number on the visitors. Washington is 2-1 (+2.4 Units) vs. the Cubs in games played at Wrigley Field this season and now has its ace ready to fire for this pivotal third game of the series. Scherzer has been contending with a hamstring injury so we must say caveat emptor before we bet the rent on the Nationals in this one. However, if the Washington ace is even 80 percent, we still feel good about including the Nats in our MLB picks this afternoon.

Free MLB Pick: Nationals -112Best Line Offered: 5Dimes

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