Chicago Cubs – Washington Nationals: NLDS Game 1

LAST seasons World Series winners will return to the playoffs when they head to the nation’s capital.

The Cubs will send Kyle Hendricks to the mound in hope that he can continue his strong showings against the Nats.

Hendricks is 2-2 against Washington in his career, but does own a very respectable 2.67 ERA in his five appearances against them.

That being said the Nats do own a 4-3 record against Chicago this year, including a 2-1 record at home.

Chicago averaged 4.33 runs per game in that series but will find things tougher against Washington ace Stephen Strasbourg.

The right-hander is 1-1 in his five career starts against the Cubs, owning an impressive 2.08 ERA in the process.

Despite strong showings from their starts it’s the Nationals bullpen that raises concerns for Washington – something our followers will be all too familiar with!

Chicago will enjoy being the underdog in this series and despite losing the season series they’ll be buoyed by some impressive scorelines against them.

Chicago’s hitters have managed to notch 28 runs against this Nats lineup and while it’s easy to lean on the home side in this one there’s a lot to like about the underdog in this spot.

And if you like the underdog, there’s a definite reason to lean on the Over as a result. In their last eight wins, Chicago is averaging 5.75 runs per game – this includes six of those wins coming on the road.

Meanwhile, Washington have allowed 6.25 runs per game in their last four losses which included losing their last two games at home.

The Cubs are 23-5 in their last 28 road games versus a right-handed starter, and while Strasbourg will certainly do his part in this one it’s hard to trust that Nats bullpen at all the moment.

Chicago have also won 67% of their games this season when priced between $2.20 and $2.50 – there’s value on the underdog here in what’s been a favourite-heavy playoffs so far.

Tip: Chicago Cubs @ $2.32

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