Sunday MLB Betting Preview
Chicago Cubs vs. Washington Nationals
Another weekend of baseball wraps up with the finale between the Cubs and the Nationals, with each side looking to grab the series win. The Cubs will be counting on starter Kyle Hendricks to get that job done, and he’s a slight road favorite to do so. Part of that is because the Nationals counter with Jeremy Hellickson and he’s that deserved to be counted on too often. The Nationals have not won any of Hellickson’s last three starts, and he’s got a 6.00 ERA on the season to boot.
After having Max Scherzer and Stephen Strasburg start the first two games of this series, relying on Hellickson is somewhat of an uphill battle. But it’s not like Kyle Hendricks and the Cubs can’t be beaten – Chicago’s just 4-4 SU in his eight starts this year – but can Hellickson and the Nats get it done?
Right off the top you’ll notice that there was some early ‘over’ action for this game as the number did open up at 9.5. ‘Over’ money between these two teams in a prime time spot like this is to be expected, especially when someone who’s got Hellickson’s numbers is out there throwing the baseball. Four of Hellickson’s last five starts have seen opponents score at least 5 runs against him in starts that were never longer then 5.1 innings. That’s batting practice type stuff, and it was just on Friday night that the Cubs hung 14 on this Nationals pitching staff.
Giving up those kind of runs scored numbers makes a little tough to back Washington, even as a home underdog, because when push comes to shove in a slug fest type game, the Cubs have the lineup that’s more reliable in their ability to produce, and that’s with the better starting pitcher on their end as well. Should this price climb a little steeper and Washington finds themselves getting a few more pennies on the dollar, the Nats do become a bit more intriguing, but they are still a team that’s 5-5 SU in their last 10 games, and still seven games below the .500 mark.
Going with Chicago on the ML brings it’s own set of concerns, as they continue to struggle giving Hendricks run support as it is, as that 4-4 SU record in his outings is far from an indictment on his pitching. Not one of Hendricks last three starts has been shorter then 8 IP, as he’s allowed just 12 hits in 25 IP during that span. It’s taken that type of effort to have the team post a 3-0 SU mark in that stretch too, because at 3.3 runs/game in support from the offense – one that averages 5.48/game overall – has been barely enough to get it done. Lay the chalk with Chicago and catch those bats on an extra cold day, and then you are left hoping Hendricks pitches phenomenally, just to have a chance.
Neither side interests me that much, but from the lens of looking at how well Hendricks has pitched of late, that early money on the ‘over’ might be something where it’s pushed the number into a spot where it’s time to look the other way. Obviously, any ‘under’ thoughts here could be at the mercy of how Hellickson navigates his way through his five or so innings, but getting more then 10 runs is pretty lofty when you’ve got a guy in Hendricks who’s only seen opponents score half of that in total over his last three starts.
The Cubs combination of giving Hendricks very little run support and himself pitching very well has led to a 2-6 O/U record for the Cubs in eight Hendricks starts, and taking that one step further, Chicago’s 17-40 O/U run in Hendrick’s last 57 starts makes it tough to see a ’10’ and want to look anywhere but below this total.O
Best Bet:Under 10 runs