MLB Picks: Cubs vs. Nationals Odds & Analysis

Steven Suarez

Saturday, May 11, 2013 11:53 AM GMT

Stephen Strasburg's on the mound for the Nationals, so you know they're going to be big-time favorites here against Chicago. Check out our favorite play for this game inside. 

Odds Overview

Washington is at -215 and Chicago can be backed at +195. If you really like the chances of an easy Nationals win, consider backing them on the -1.5 runline at +100 MLB odds.

The total for Saturday's game is holding steady at seven runs. Be sure to track the live MLB line movement at SBRodds.com throughout the day.

Chicago Cubs (Edwin Jackson)

The Cubs have dropped two straight and are 3-7 over their last ten ballgames. They're 13-22 overall and are just 6-11 on the road thus far this season.

The pitching actually hasn't been the problem for Chicago. They're in the top five in quality starts and opposing batting average and rank in the middle of the pack in team ERA and WHIP. However, offensively they're in the bottom ten in runs scored (131), batting average (.243), and on base percentage (.301).

Now with his eighth different team, Jackson has been struggling majorly for the Cubs. He's 0-5 with a 6.39 ERA and 1.63 WHIP.

In Jackson's latest two starts, both at Wrigley, he's surrendered 19 hits and 12 earned runs in 9 and 2/3 innings of work. In four assignments at home he's gone 0-3 with a 9.00 ERA.

So, it's a good thing Jackson is pitching on the road, where he's posted a much more respectable 3.18 ERA. He'll also be going against his former team, so maybe he'll be able to rise to the occasion this afternoon.

Check out my MLB morning odds report as well!

Washington Nationals (Stephen Strasburg)

May has been very kind to the Nationals thus far. They've gone 7-1 in eight games this month, which includes series wins over Atlanta, Detroit, and Pittsburgh.

Winners of five straight, Washington will be hoping to keep spirits high behind their ace in Stephen Strasburg.

Aside from a pair of two-run homers, Strasburg was pretty sharp in his latest start against Pittsburgh. He didn't factor into the decision, but needed only 95 pitches to get through seven innings.

The numbers aren't sexy (1-4, 3.45 ERA) by any means, but we've seen enough of this guy to know he's got the stuff to completely shut down a lineup. Strasburg was excellent against Chicago in his one meeting against them in 2012, allowing five hits and one earned run in seven frames.

The right-hander's home/away splits are also encouraging for Washington backers. As opposed to his 5.18 ERA and .260 batting average for opponents on the road, he's recorded a 1.35 ERA and .183 BAA at home.

[gameodds]3/226360/43-192-349/us[/gameodds]

MLB Pick

While Strasburg hasn't been nearly as dominant as has proven to be in the past, it's hard to fade him here. He's fared much better in the comfortable confines of Nationals Park and Chicago's light-hitting ways will give the ace every opportunity to have a gem.

In the end, Washington is the far better overall team and they're riding a giant wave of momentum at the moment. Let's keep riding that until they show us a reason not to.

Instead of a straight moneyline, we are going to go after some more value and back the Nationals at -1 for our MLB picks, which will recoup our money should Washington win. A little less juice is fine with us and we're staying away from the -1.5 runline as we could easily see this game decided by one run.

Pick: Washington Nationals -1 (-144) at BET 365