Washington Nationals vs. Chicago Cubs Preview
Where: Wrigley Field, Chicago, IL
When: Saturday, August 5, 2017, 2:20 PM ET
TV Broadcast: FS-A, CSN-C, MLB Network
Betting on the Washington Nationals (64-43)
Starting for the Nationals in the second game of this three-game set is Edwin Jackson (2-1, 3.75 ERA). The last time Jackson made a start at Wrigley Field was back in 2014 when he donned Cubs colors. The good news for Jackson is that he’s playing some solid baseball ahead of his return to the Friendly Confines. The 33-year-old veteran put together his best start as a National on Sunday, surrendering just one run over seven innings in a 3-1 win over the Colorado Rockies. He struck out six batters and allowed just two walks in a dazzling 112-pitch performance.
As for the offense, the Nationals are feeding off a hot Daniel Murphy right now. He blasted a couple of homers in the Nationals’ 4-2 win over the Cubs on Friday. Murphy toyed with the Cubs pitching like it was the 2015 NLCS, recording in the process his second multi-homer game of the season. The second baseman is batting .333 this campaign with 19 homers and 76 RBIs.
The Nationals are 6-4 in their last 10 road games.
Betting on the Chicago Cubs (57-51)
With the Cubs in a bit of a funk right now, the pressure is on John Lackey (8-9, 4.87 ERA) to deliver a quality start for Chicago this coming Saturday. The right-hander was superb in his last start against the Milwaukee Brewers, pitching six innings of two-run ball with seven strikeouts. The Cubs won that contest, 4-2. The defending champions have now won each of their last four games with Lackey as their starter. Lackey finished the month of July with a sterling 3-0 record with a 3.27 ERA, striking out 16 batters over 22 innings.
Lackey needs all the help he can get, though, against a Washington side that owns the second-best record in the National League. One guy who needs to contribute for the Cubs in Game 2 is Anthony Rizzo. He leads the Cubs in homers, RBIs and on-base percentage this season. Rizzo got flummoxed by the Nats’ pitching on Friday, going hitless in four at-bats. He will look to turn things around against former teammate Edwin Jackson. Rizzo’s 4-of-5 in his career against the Nats’ scheduled starting pitcher with a double and a walk.
The Cubs are 4-6 in their last 10 home games.
The Cubs (-155) eke past the Nationals, 5-4.
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