The Chicago Cubs and Washington Nationals face off on Wednesday in an MLB showdown at Nationals Park. The two teams have split the first two games of this series. On Tuesday it took extra innings for the Cubs to win 7-5.
The Cubs come into this game with a 48-67 record overall and on Tuesday it was the offense that was the difference as they put up seven runs on the way to the victory. Overall this season the Cubs offense has been an issue and they are averaging 4.18 runs per game. The top player for the Cubs has been Patrick Wisdom and he has hit 21 home runs and driven in 55 RBIs so far this season.
On the other side of this matchup is the Nationals who sit with a 39-79 record overall and they have lost two of their last three games. On Monday the Nationals only gave up four runs and that was enough to win by a run. The Nationals pitching overall this season is giving up 5.59 runs per game which is 30th in the league. The Nationals offense is playing a ton of young guys now with Juan Soto and Josh bell gone.
On the mound for the Cubs is Drew Smyly who sits with a 5-6 record and an ERA of 3.69. In his last start against the Reds, he went five innings giving up four hits and zero runs.
On the mound for the Nationals is Cory Abbott who sits with an 0-2 record and an ERA of 5.94. In his last start against the San Diego Padres, he went four innings giving up four hits and three runs.
The Cubs are 4-1 in their last five games on Wednesday. The over is 4-1-1 i the Cubs last six games against a right-handed starter. The under is 5-1 in the Nationals last six home games against a left-handed starter.
Smyly was strong in his last start giving up zero runs and I expect he is going to lockdown in this game. The Cubs are going to run up the score against Abbott who has had issues this season, and that is going to be the difference in this game as the Cubs get the job done. Back the Cubs on the run line.
Chicago vs Washington Probable Pitchers
Both of these teams rank at the absolute bottom of the World Series odds. Chicago entered play on Tuesday losers of back-to-back games, and will turn to journeyman Drew Smyly to stop the bleeding. The 33-year-old has been lights out over his past two starts, shutting out both Cincinnati and Miami.
He’s thrown 11.2 scoreless innings in total, yielding nine hits while posting a 13-to-3 strikeout-to-walk rate. Smyly has now surrendered one earned run or less in four of his past five outings, and while that doesn’t make him an NL Cy Young odds contender, it is some of the best form he’s ever flashed in his 11 year career.
He hasn’t faced Washington this season, but has had plenty of success against the Nats lineup in the past. Smyly has limited Washington batters to a .233 average over 43 at-bats, and just three extra-base hits.
The Nats will counter with Cory Abbott. The former Cub will make his fourth start of the season, and is still looking for the first victory of his big league career.
After duelling with Jacob deGrom at the beginning of the month, Abbott has taken a major step back. He’s allowed 10 runs and 11 hits over his past 7.2 innings, including four home runs.
The 26-year-old has issued more walks (8) than he’s recorded strikeouts (7) over his past two starts, but control problems are nothing new. As a rookie in Chicago last year, he had nearly as many walks (11) as strikeouts (12), and posted a 1.79 ERA in eight appearances.