Two National League Division Leaders Square Off in Nation’s Capital

On Wednesday, the team with the best record in baseball will be in the nation’s capital when the Chicago Cubs visit the Washington Nationals. The current line has Washington favored at -145, with Chicago at +135 and the over/under run total sitting on 7.5.

Chicago owns the best record in baseball at 44-19 overall and 22-11 on the road. Over their past 10 games played, the Cubs are 6-4. Washington on the season is 40-25 overall and 19-12 at home. The Nationals are 7-3 over their past 10 games played.

Washington will send its ace Stephen Strasburg to the mound in the third and final game of this series. Each team has won one game in the series between two of the National League’s division leaders. Chicago won Tuesday night 4-3, after Washington had won Monday behind Max Sherzer.

The win by Chicago snapped Washington’s winning streak at four games and was just the fourth loss by the Nationals in their past 15 games. Chicago has won five of the six games head to head with Washington this season and 7 of 8 dating back to last season.

The Cubs will counter Strasburg with Jason Hammel, who has a career record of 9-0 with an ERA of 3.16 in 12 starts during his career versus Washington. Thus far, on the season, Hammel is 7-2 with an ERA of 2.36.

Hammel will be facing Strasburg who is a perfect 10-0 on the season with an ERA of 3.03. The Nationals are averaging 6.82 runs in Strasburg’s starts this season and have scored 5 runs or more in 11 of his 13 starts.

Washington right fielder Bryce Harper has 5 hits in 26 at bats this season versus Chicago with no hits for extra bases. Harper has just 2 hits in 14 bats in his career versus Hammel with five strikeouts.

Chicago starting pitchers allowed three earned runs or fewer over their past 18 consecutive games.

The Cubs are 41-0 when taking a lead into the ninth inning and 40-2 when they score four runs or more.

Chicago is 4-0 in the past four starts Hammel has made versus Washington.

The Cubs have won 7 of the past 8 games head to head with the Nationals.

The UNDER has cashed in 5 of the past 7 games between the two teams played in Washington.

Prediction: Everyone sees Strasburg’s name on the lineup card and picks the Nationals in this one, I like the Cubs as the odds are in their favor.

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