MLB Picks: Bet -123 Cubs Over Nationals

Joe Catalano

Saturday, June 28, 2014 1:41 PM GMT

Saturday, Jun. 28, 2014 1:41 PM GMT

“Let’s play two,” former MLB great Ernie Banks used to say, and that’s just what his Chicago Cubs will be doing today as they face the Nationals. In game 2, Jeff Samrdzija gets the start as the Cubbies are the betting favorites.

First pitch is set for 7:15 p.m. ET tonight in this day/night doubleheader at the historic Wrigley Field in Chicago, Illinois. This game can be seen on MLB TV.

Game 2 odds have the Cubs as a -123 betting favorite, according to 5 Dimes Sportsbook. These are pretty favorable odds being that Cubs ace Jeff Samardzjia (2-6, 2.53) will be pitching.

Although his record is poor, this is due to lack of run support for Samardzija as he has brought his best stuff to each and every outing.


No Run Support
In his last 2 starts, Samardzija has gotten no-decisions as he’s allowed 1 earned run in 12 innings pitched. You can’t do any better than that and it will be up to the Cubs offense to start scoring or eventually Samardzija will want to play elsewhere.

Chicago is the team with the momentum in this matchup as they’ve won their last 2 games while the Nats have lost 3 straight. Samardzija will be hoping to get the same kind of run support that fellow Cubs start Jason Hammel received in the Cubs 7-2 win on Friday night.


Entering Star Status
One player that the Cubs have been waiting to play to his potential is first basemen Anthony Rizzo. Rizzo is having a spectacular first half of the season as he leads the Cubs in power numbers with 17 HR, 44 RBI, and a very respectable .289 batting average.

Rizzo has also improved his ability to draw a walk as his on-base percentage is an attractive .400. Rizzo hopes the month of July will be a repeat performance of June as he’s averaged .330 with 7 HR and 16 RBI’s this month. If Rizzo can get something going tonight, it won’t take much to overtake the Nats with Jeff Samardzija pitching.


Adam LaRoche
Although the Nats have less of an imposing lineup without Bryce Harper, Adam LaRoche has filled in well as a team leader on the offensive end.

LaRoche is 10 for his last 27 with 2 HR and 5 RBI. On the season, LaRoche is batting a healthy .309 with a .420 on-base percentage. He also has 10 HR and 40 RBI. With Ryan Zimmerman back in the lineup, Samardzija will have to tread lightly because this duo can make him pay if he makes a mistake.


Trends
Nationals are 8-3 in their last 11 games against a team with a losing record

Nationals are 4-0 in the 2nd game of a doubleheader

Nationals are 2-7 in their last 9 road games

Cubs are 4-0 in their last 4 games against a team with a winning record

Cubs are 7-19 in Samardzija’s last 26 home starts

Cubs are 6-21 in their last 27 games of game 4 of a series


Outcome
Although the trends seem to favor the Nats, I like the Cubbies in this game with Jeff Samardzija starting. The Cubs are the team with home field advantage, the better starting pitcher, and better overall momentum.

For all of this, the odds are appealing. The only thing that we have to worry about in a game 2 of a doubleheader are the benches. Samardzija might have to go deep into this game if the Cubs bullpen is used up. I see no problem there as I like Chicago as my betting pick.

Free MLB Pick: Chicago Cubs -123 at 5 Dimes

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